After a year off, Ironman is returning to Northern Michigan this weekend. Learn all about what to expect and how you can stay up-to-date with race details.
Top athletes from around the country will gather in Frankfort this weekend for the Ironman 70.3 Michigan competition. The race is slated to begin Sunday at 8 am, and athletes will begin checking in Friday at noon. Race wrap-up will take place at an awards ceremony Sunday at 5 pm.
This will be the first time for Frankfort to host Ironman. “The excitement around this race is palpable,” said Trevor Tkach from Traverse City Tourism, a sponsor of the event. “Ironman had to be canceled last year due to the pandemic, and this is one of the first major races to be held since the COVID shutdown.”
Racers will be challenged by three legs, with 13.1-miles of running, 56-miles of cycling and 1.2-miles of swimming. In all, they will travel 70.3-miles from start to finish.
Photo by Ironman & Traverse City Tourism
Five local charities are using the event as a fundraiser with the support of Traverse City Tourism in the Ironman Charity Challenge. Participants from Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital, Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail, Munson Manor Hospitality House, Frankfort Lighthouse and Single MOMM are racing in the event to raise money and attention to their causes. So far, they have raised over $35,000 collectively. Online donations can be made for all charities at https://bit.ly/3AOkylB.
Participants will come from all over the country. “Ironman attracts a high caliber, tremendously driven athlete,” said Tkach. “Many have never travelled to northern Michigan. It becomes a great opportunity to showcase the region with a hope that they will return with their families again and again.”
A small army of volunteers will staff aid stations and support tents. Area non-profit groups will share thousands of dollars from the Ironman Foundation for their volunteer work.
The race will create some road closures and residents near the routes have been notified of the closures and provided alternate routes if possible. Betsie Bay will experience some restrictions on fishing and boating during the swim portion of the race. Race maps and detours are available here: Race course & detours.
More information is available at: https://www.traversecity.com/ironman/.