Ford Ironman Arizona is an Ultra distance triathlon consisting of: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run. The swim course is located in Tempe Town Lake. The Mill Avenue Bridges provide a perfect view of the swim. The bike course is 3 loops, allowing spectators to see their athlete four times at the intersection of Mill Avenue and Rio Salado Parkway. The run course is also three loops offering many opportunities along the streets and through Tempe Beach Park to see the athletes.
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bike and a marathon (26.2 miles 42.195 km) run, raced in that order and without a break. Most Ironman events have a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the race, where the Ironman race starts at 7 AM, the mandatory swim cut off for the 2.4 mile swim is 2 hours 20 minutes, the bike cut off time is 5:30 PM, and all finishers must complete their marathon by midnight. The time limit to complete the race for Ironman Japan is 15 hours.
The name "Ironman Triathlon" refers to both the original Ironman triathlon and the annual Ironman World Championship. Also called Ironman Hawaii, the world championships of the event, held annually in Hawaii since 1978 (with an additional race in 1982), are now preceded by a series of qualifying events. Ironman Triathlon became known for its grueling length, harsh race conditions, and television coverage.