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The Woodlands Ironman Race Not Only Impressive Display of Mental and Physical Endurance But Revenue Generator for Our Township

by Charles Frantes
The Woodlands Ironman

On Saturday April 28th, close to 3000 athletes from around the world will participate in the Memorial Hermann Ironman triathlon in The Woodlands.

According to the Ironman spectator guide, athletes will begin the race at around 6:25 AM with a “2.4-mile swim in Lake Woodlands. The rolling start, point-to-point swim begins at North Shore Park and ends at Town Green Park. The out and back (with 2 loops on the Hardy Toll Road) 112 mile bike course takes participants south through The Woodlands neighborhoods into Harris County, and onto the Hardy Toll Road towards downtown Houston. The day ends with a 26.2-mile run taking place entirely within The Woodlands and concluding with a spectacular finish on Waterway Ave.”

This impressive display of mental and physical endurance will be an inspiring spectacle for people in The Woodlands to witness. The spectator guide recommends the following locations to watch the race.  

SWIM: The best place for viewing is the Lake Woodlands Pkwy Bridge just East of North Shore Park. Also, you can watch along the canal between Lake Woodlands and the swim finish (best accessed from the stairs down to the waterway off Grogan’s Mill). 

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BIKE: The streets and neighborhoods are heavily congested during the bike portion of the event. In order to avoid getting stuck out on the course, the best option to watch the bike start and finish is along Lake Robbins. 

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RUN: The best place to watch the run is along the Waterway (3 loop course), especially near the restaurants close to Waterway Ave and near the transition area. No tents are per­mitted on the Waterway, however North Shore Park is a good place for families with kids to watch mid-day. 

Click map to view larger size

Although residents may need to deal with traffic and road closures Saturday, drawing so many people to The Woodlands, the Ironman race will not only drive business to local retail and service industries, but it will also generate revenue for the local government. The extra 2% sales the Township levies and the visitors will pay helps fund the services the Township provides, and the 7% hotel occupancy tax visitors pay the Township will go toward servicing The Woodlands’ debt. An additional 2% hotel occupancy tax goes to The Woodlands Convention and Visitors Bureau, which drives demand for The Woodlands as a travel destination to increase sales and hotel occupancy tax revenues. By having visitors pay these taxes, the local government is able to afford services for The Woodlands that would otherwise have to paid for by residents through property taxes.

Several roads in the area will be impacted by the race, and some will be closed for periods of time. The specific roads that will be impacted and their recommended detours are provided below courtesy of ironman.com

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