By Michele Owen—
MUNCIE, IN—Hosting a successful IRONMAN race requires consistency, careful planning, and coordination with the community. After 41 races, Muncie holds the record for the longest streak of 70.3 mile triathlons in the world. This year, Muncie holds another record – the best 70.3 participant experience in North America.
After going through post-race surveys from athletes, IRONMAN International informed race organizers that the Muncie 70.3 received an Overall Satisfaction score of 93.24%. This was the highest ranking of any 70.3 distance race in North America, which includes more than 40 races in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. “Obviously, Muncie knows how to put on a race,” commented IRONMAN Race Director Casey Gilvan.
The race includes a 1.2 mile swim in Prairie Creek Reservoir, a 56 mile bike through Delaware and Henry County, and a 13.1 mile run. Coordinating the event is an all-year effort, and requires collaboration with police departments, emergency medical services, local vendors, city departments, and hundreds of volunteers. Community involvement is well worth the effort – each year, the race brings thousands of athletes and spectators to shop, eat, and book rooms in Delaware County.
The positive impact lasts long after race weekend. This year, Prairie Creek Reservoir received a grant from the IRONMAN foundation to put down new beach sand, which improves the beach experience all year round. Other improvements included adding local food trucks to the spectator area, additional flaggers to improve bike safety on the roads, and an IronKIDS fun run to promote physical activity for children and teenagers.
“With Muncie, the bar is high as it’s been such a highly successful race for such a long time,” stated Gilvan. Mayor Ridenour, who competed in both the 2021 and 2022 races, is proud to continue raising the bar year after year. “It’s an honor to welcome athletes from all over the world,” says Ridenour. “We have something really special in Muncie.”