Ford Ironman Arizona Races to Tempe

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Athletes and spectators alike to enjoy the local attractions in Arizona during this year's Ford Ironman Arizona

While most of the country is preparing for Thanksgiving, an elite group of athletes are preparing for Ford Ironman Arizona, which will take place on November 23, 2008 in Tempe. During this true test of endurance, competitors will swim 2.4-miles, bike 112-miles and run a 26.2 mile marathon in succession, earning the right to become an Ironman.

Ford Ironman Arizona has become extremely popular with more than 2,000 athletes competing each year. It is anticipated to generate more than $4 million in economic impact for Tempe. That includes expenditures from both athletes and their friends and families, who travel to Tempe to provide support and encouragement for competitors and to experience the local attractions in Arizona.

There are many opportunities for spectators to see the athletes in action. The swim course is in Tempe Town Lake. The bike course is three loops, beginning in the Tempe Beach Park and circling northeast. The marathon course winds around Tempe Town Lake and into Papago Park to the north, with the finish line at the edge of Tempe Beach Park at Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue.

The Ford Ironman Arizona Athlete Village will be set up in the park prior to and during the event. It features sponsor and merchandise booths and provides a gathering place for athletes and spectators.

There are plenty of local attractions in Arizona, including Tempe, for athletes and spectators to help pass the time before and after the big event. The Mill Avenue District, with more than 100 restaurants, shops and cafes, is located just south of the Ironman festivities. Parks and mountain preserves provide easy access to outdoor recreation in the scenic Sonoran desert, such as hiking and biking. Entertainment centers such as Tempe Marketplace and Arizona Mills provide more opportunities for nightlife, great cuisine and shopping. Trips to Arizona destinations such as Sedona and the Grand Canyon are also easily accessible from Tempe.

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About Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau is a non-profit organization devoted to marketing Tempe, Arizona as a desirable visitor and group destination site. The Tempe Convention and Visitors Bureau's mission is to provide visitors, media professionals and meeting planners with information on hotels, restaurants, entertainment and local attractions in Arizona.

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