Come the weekend of Friday 16 January – Sunday 18 January 2015, Auckland city will be taken over by an elite group of athletes competing in the Auckland Ironman 2015.
Set in the heart of this waterside metropolis, the IRONMAN 70.3 Auckland course incorporates the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland Harbour Bridge, waterfront, and other city landscapes. Participants will swim in the Auckland harbour, enjoy a stunning ride over the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge and then complete a two-lap run along the waterfront. There will be 50 qualifying slots to the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Austria.
1,500 athletes are expected, and volunteers are also being recruited now for the event. Auckland was selected as the first international venue for IRONMAN when the course went global in the mid 80s, and parts of the 2015 course retrace the original. Conveniently located in Auckland’s Central Business District, there is an entrance to the event base from Customs Street as well as Halsey Street.
Spectators can watch the proceedings for FREE. The best spot to be to see all the action is around the Event Village. This centres around the Viaduct Events Centre on the waterfront, in the Wynyard Quarter precinct. Simmers will emerge up from the Karanga Plaza. Cyclists will ride along Halsey Street, and of course the runners will also cross the finish line. Other areas to catch a glimpse include the Voyager Maritime Museum between about 6.30am-8.30am (swimming), St Heliers from about 8.30am to 11.30am (cycling), Quay St from about 9.30am-2pm (running) or the Event Village for grandstand viewing of the finish line between about 10.30am-3pm.
If you’re bringing your Auckland Airport car rental, try the Fanshawe St carpark or theDowntown car park on Customs Street West with all-day Sunday parking rates. Ensure you leave plenty of time to find a park and make your way to the Viaduct.
There are lots of places around Auckland to get in some training prior to the main event – plus fit in some sightseeing. Head out west to the Waitakere Ranges for some trail running through the bush and forest, or a little closer to the city, try Mt Eden or One Tree Hill. Auckland offers both flat and hilly terrain for any kind of biking that you may desire. For swimming, visit the newly revamped Tepid Baths in downtown Auckland, or take an ocean dip – Mission Bay and Kohimarama are nearby, or head over the North Shore to Takapuna Beach or Long Bay.