For the thousands of athletes descending on Whistler for Sunday's Ironman Canada triathlon, months of training went into preparing for race day.
Whistler locals will have to be prepared in advance as well to deal with the expected traffic delays and road closures that will be put in place to ensure the resort's third Ironman race goes off without a hitch.
Thanks to the Resort Municipality of Whistler, here's an overview of everything you'll need to know before the triathletes hit the waters of Alta Lake first thing in the morning on July 26.
The Valley Trail
Whistler's 40-kilometre long artery will be open and is recommended as the main mode of transportation for locals throughout the day. Be aware, however, that much of the eastern section of the trail is used for the run portion of Ironman, so expect travel to be slow at points and please respect the competitors as they make their way to the finish line.
Highway 99 south of Alpine Way to Callaghan Valley Road will be closed in both directions from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. All southbound vehicles departing Whistler should have passed Callaghan Valley Road by 7 a.m.
Highway 99 north of Alpine Way to Pemberton will also be closed northbound from 8:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and southbound from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Emerald, Rainbow and Alpine Meadows neighbourhoods will be significantly impacted by traffic congestion throughout the day so make sure you plan ahead.
In Pemberton, the downtown area will be closed off from Portage Road to Pemberton Meadows Road/Pemberton Farm Road from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more info on the Pemberton traffic plan, click the embedded link here.
Traveling north to Whistler
Vehicles will be permitted to travel northbound on Highway 99 throughout the race, although there will be no left turns allowed off the highway between Callaghan Valley Road and Alpine way from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Access to the village will be available during this period via Whistler Way, Village Gate Boulevard, Lorimer Road or Nancy Greene Drive.
Riding public transit
Expect major disruptions to service throughout the resort between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., with most trips cancelled.
Routes affected during that time will be the 1-Valley Connector, 2-Whistler Creek/Cheakamus and 6-Tapley's/Blueberry.
Several routes will be unaffected by the race, and they are the 5-Upper Village/Benchlands free shuttle, 7-Staff Housing and the 8-Lost Lake free shuttle. The 5-Upper Village/Benchlands shuttle will also have extra service between 8 a.m. and noon.
Regularly scheduled southbound trips from the village to Cheakamus Crossing will resume at 1 p.m. Riders are advised to board at the Gondola Transit exchange stop as other village stops will be closed. Expect traffic delays.
Regular service north of the village will be cancelled between 1 and 5:30 p.m.
BC Transit will operate an alternate route from the village to Blueberry Hill, Tapley's and Nesters Mall during this time.
All regularly scheduled trips will resume after 5:30 p.m., although delays are expected.
Also, the 7:40 a.m. commuter trip from Whistler to Pemberton is cancelled, as well as the 8:20 a.m. bus from Pemberton to Whistler.
The 11:25 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:55 p.m. Pemberton local transit service trips will be rerouted.
For a full list of the cancelled and special transit trips scheduled for race day, click the embedded link here.
Parking is limited throughout Whistler and will fill up quickly ahead of race day.
Day Lot 4 will be closed between Thursday, July 23 and Monday, July 27.
Parking at Rainbow Park is also closed Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26.
Day Lot 5 is expected to be full Thursday, July 23 through Monday, July 27.
Day Lot 3 will have limited commercial bus and RV parking. Limited overflow parking will be available at the Spruce Grove Field House parking lot.
Day Lots 6, 7 and 9 will be open, although you should plan for a 15-minute walk downhill to the village from there.
The Creekside Day Lots and Spruce Grove Field House parking lot will remain open, as will hotels and other private parking lots throughout town.
For more information, visit whistler.ca/ironman.
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