Update 2016: Ironman 70.3 Florida has been updated for 2016.
Headed for Ironman 70.3 Florida, Haines City this weekend? If so, we’re here to give you some spectating tips, so you can spend more time enjoying the race….
Ironman 70.3 Florida is a great spectator race, especially for families. Located in Lake Eva Park, once you are there, plan to stay. You will only have a break from spectating on the one-loop bike course, which tends to be fast. Take advantage of this time to get in a nice run; play with the kids at the water slides, kiddie pools or playgrounds; have breakfast; and make your way to the IRONMAN Village to pick up some great items for the family. The three-loop run course makes it great for spectators, with multiple chances to cheer on your triathlete.
- Make sure you leave plenty of time for getting to the park and parking, as roads can get very congested. Parking will be available at Lake Eva Park or at public lots and roads in the surrounding area, but it can get congested.
- Pack enough breakfast and snacks to get you and your spectator crew through the race.
- PACK PLENTY OF SUNCREEN!!!!! We also have a great article on what to pack for race day.
- The swim start goes off at 6:50 am in waves at the white sand beach at Lake Eva, so know what wave your athlete is in and the color of the cap. The last wave is at 8:05.
- There is only one transition area and everything takes place right around there.
- Pick a central location near the finish line (next to the Bandshell) for your home base. We would recommend on the lake side of the run course, making it easy to move around without crossing the run course to see your athlete multiple times.
- Don’t forget to print the maps from Ironman.
- You can track your athlete on race day at Ironman and/or download apps for IMtrackr or IronMobile. We like and use both.
- The Awards Ceremony and rolldown takes place at 4pm at the Bandshell.
- If you have kids, think about signing them up for either the IRONKIDS Dip and Dash (swim and run for ages 7-15) or the IRONKIDS Fun Run (ages 3-14)on Saturday, April 9. The races start at 9am and 10am at Lake Eva Park. You can register on-site or online, but the Dip and Dash is closed. Perhaps check when you get to the race to see if anything has changed.
The race site is located just 30 minutes from Orlando’s theme parks, including Disney World, Epcot, and Universal Studios. Hopefully, you’re taking some time to have some fun. I can’t resist the roller coaster-type rides like Space Mountain. Check out VisitOrlando for everything to do….
If you are looking for a nice, affordable place to stay, you may want to check out the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista. On my recent visit to Walt Disney World, I was able to tour the beautiful property that is located on Disney property, but feels secluded. The rooms in the towers are perfect for solo travelers, couples, or can be combined for families. The resort is perfectly located a short walk to Disney Springs, making it easy to spend a day or two shopping, eating, playing, and enjoying all the entertainment.
But, there is really no need to leave the property if you so choose, with the pool, tennis courts, play areas, and on site restaurants. There even is a poolside restaurant and bar. One of the biggest highlights for families is the Director of Fun – okay, how do you get this job? – literally a full-time staff person who plans activities for kids all day long! They even have character meals a few times a week. We highly recommend this property for families of any size and budget as well as multi-generational trips. Prices range from $79 for the garden rooms and from $109 for the tower rooms, many of which have been recently renovated.
We hope everyone has a successful and fun race day. We’ll be cheering everyone on from far away sidelines……