Swim in the Choptank River and ride through Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.
The city of Cambridge was settled by English colonists in 1684, making it one of the oldest colonial cities in Maryland. To this day it has remained a small, scenic town, rich in history and full of sights straight out of James Michenerʼs novel, Chesapeake. In 2002, the city's economy was boosted by the opening of the 400-room Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay resort, which draws golfers, spa-goers, and boaters. Cambridge's downtown business district was designated a historical district in 1990, and the city is known for its vibrant arts scene, local shopping, restaurants, and rich history.
One thing that makes this course unique is its 112-mile bike course, taking athletes through the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge—a critical waterfowl sanctuary for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway and containing nearly one-third of Marylandʼs tidal wetlands. The refuge consists of over 27,000 acres of freshwater impoundments, tidal wetlands, open fields, and mixed forests. The refuge is also home to over 250 bird species, 35 species of reptiles and amphibians, 165 species of threatened and endangered plants, and numerous mammals that can be spotted throughout the year in the region's marshes, forests, meadows, and fields.
IRONMAN Maryland begins with a 2.4-mile swim in the fresh water of the Choptank River on the Delmarva Peninsula. Water temperatures can vary between 73 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The 112-mile bike takes athletes through Dorchester County and into the aforementioned wildlife refuge. The course is flat, fast and scenic. The day finishes with a 26.2-mile run on flat country roads offering numerous straightaways—opportunities for athletes to size up their competition.
The 2016 IRONMAN Maryland offers 40 qualifying slots for the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.