Ironman Triathalon To Hamper Sunday Traffic

By Tom Bacon

If you plan to go out for a lazy Sunday drive, Coeur d' Alene is not the place to be.

Because it's the annual Ironman competition. There'll be about 2,500 world-class and wannabe athletes huffing and puffing through some mind-boggling challenges - a 2.4-mile swim in chilly Lake Coeur d' Alene, a 112-mile bike ride down U.S. 95 - including two assaults on the grueling Mica grade - and a 26-plus mile run along the shore of Lake Coeur d' Alene.

All that adds up to extreme challenges for the athletes - and for ordinary people trying to get around town.

Several streets in Coeur d' Alene -clustered primarily in the downtown area - will be closed off altogether.

And traffic will be severely restricted in other areas - notably, along U.S. Highway 95 south of town.

Bicyclists will have exclusive use of the northbound lanes of the highway, while ordinary vehicle traffic will be squeezed onto the southbound lanes - one lane in each direction.

Some barricades in town have already been set up between 2nd Avenue and Independence Point. Others will go up closer to race time.

The competition begins at 6:30 Sunday morning when swimmers race into the 55-degree water en masse. And it'll continue until well after dark as the stragglers gamely persist in finishing the brutal course.

The best advice for drivers - deal with it.
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