The inaugural IRONMAN Arizona was held on April 9, 2005, in cooperation with the City of Tempe and the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community. With its fast and flat course around Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake, and spectator-friendly atmosphere, the race quickly gained popularity. Given the desert heat, the race was moved to a much cooler November race date in 2008, where it attracts a wide range of triathletes who've had the whole summer to train.
IRONMAN Arizona kicks off with a single-loop swim in Tempe Town Lake, followed by a challenging three-loop bike course through the Sonoran Desert. It finishes with a spectator-friendly run around Tempe Town Lake and Papago Park.