By Michele Owen—
MUNCIE, IN—The City of Muncie held its first triathlon in 1980. Originally called the Muncie Endurathon, the 70.3 mile race has since been rebranded as an official IRONMAN event, and holds the title for the longest continuous triathlon in the world (with the exception of 2020, which saw a world-wide hiatus for triathletes).
On October 1, Muncie will again host hundreds of dedicated athletes aiming to claim the title of Ironman. Athletes will swim 1.2 miles in beautiful Prairie Creek Reservoir, bike 56 miles through Delaware and Henry counties, and end with a 13.1 mile run. The endurance challenge can take up to 8.5 hours to finish.
Last year, Muncie was one of 8 sites worldwide to host a 70.3 and the double-distance 140.6 mile race on the same day. The City saw a $4 million economic impact, with local hotels, restaurants, and other vendors enjoying a boom in business. One local hotel reported that this year, they are already nearly 90% booked for Friday night.
City Hall will be entering a relay team, comprised of special projects manager Dustin Clark for the swim, City controller Craig Wright on the bike, and Mayor Dan Ridenour finishing with the run. Ridenour completed the full 70.3 mile race in 2021.
This year, families will also have an opportunity to participate with an IRONKIDS event on Friday, September 30. Participants ages 1-17 can participate in an 80-foot Toddler trot (1-3 year olds), a half mile run (ages 3-8), or a 1 mile non-competitive race (ages 5-17). One parent or guardian can accompany each child, and all participating children will receive a race bib, bag and medal. Parents can register children at https://www.active.com/muncie-in/running/distance-running-races/ironkids-indiana-fun-run-2022?int=72-3-A1.
Community members interested in volunteering can register at https://ironman.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/?id=59664. Volunteers will have the opportunity to cheer athletes on through the course, help at aid stations, and other activities throughout the day.
Muncie IronKids Event Encourages Physical Activity for Ages 1-17
On Friday, September 30, youth of all ages will get to experience the excitement of a sporting event in a fun, relaxed environment. IRONMAN International is hosting their popular IRONKIDS Fun Run, which offers distances of 80 feet, one half mile, and one full mile for young athletes.
Participating youth will get a first-hand introduction to the IRONMAN tradition as they complete the course at their own pace. One parent or guardian may accompany each child. Each participant will take home a bib number, bag, and participation medal, as well as getting to run on the official IRONKIDS course, which will be set up at Canan Commons.
Event organizers are enthusiastic about the Fun Run, as a way to promote physical activity in children, and to inspire youth to pursue athletic endeavors. “Athletics, whether in an organized sports league or an individual training plan, is such a great way for kids to learn about sportsmanship, discipline, and perseverance,” comments Mayor Dan Ridenour, who is a lifelong runner and an IRONMAN. “This is a really unique way for kids to get introduced to sporting events.”
Families can register children by following the QR code provided on the image below. The Fun Run will be held at Canan Commons on Friday, September 30th, at 5:30 p.m.