One aspect of the city of Delaware’s inaugural Ironman 70.3 Ohio from last year made an impression for some athletes worldwide.
The triathlon, which took place on Aug. 21, scored third for best overall run course in the world of the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Athletes’ Choice Awards. The designation is based on data from annual athlete surveys.
“It is due to the amazing support from our local community, specifically the City of Delaware and Ohio Wesleyan University. The support shown by the residents of Delaware County are also a large contributor to the success of the event,” said Ken Hammond, the event’s race director.
The competition consisted of a 1.2-mile swim in Delaware Lake; a 56-mile bike ride in three counties; and a half-marathon that started and finished at OWU.
One athlete’s quote was added with the rank: “Really liked the run course overall. Knew it was mostly downhill for the first three parts of the loop, so wasn’t surprised that the last leg had some climbs, but all in all, interesting, relatively shaded and well supported,” said one athlete.
Last year’s event was sponsored by OhioHealth and Steve Bunyard, president of the health system’s Grady Memorial Hospital, said in a statement it couldn’t be more proud.
“To be chosen by athletes as one of the best events shows that with all the teamwork and community spirit to make it happen, we got it right. This event brings pride and exposure to Delaware County, central Ohio, and the entire state. It also moves our mission forward, to improve the health of those we serve through participating in healthy, active lifestyle choices. The inaugural event was such a success, and we can’t wait to see everyone this summer for year two,” he said.
The Ironman 70.3 Muncie (Indiana) was voted No. 1 for best run course with Ironman 70.3 Haugesund, Norway, as the runner-up.
This year’s Ironman event will take place on July 30 with registration open and available at www.ironman.com. Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle has said this will allow athletes and their families to use the dorms at OWU and be closer to downtown eateries. She did not respond to requests for further comment.
The following list are the remaining award categories with the Ironman event that had the most votes:
• Overall Satisfaction: Strandräuber Ironman 70.3 Ruegen
• Best overall swim: Subaru Ironman 70.3 Canada
• Best overall bicycle: Strandräuber Ironman 70.3 Ruegen
• Best race venue experience & Best host city experience: Sunbelt Bakery Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga presented by McKee A Family Bakery
• Best post-race celebration: Ironman 70.3 Geelong
• Will attend next year: Sinox Ironman 70.3 Taiwan
• Will recommend to a friend: Ironman 70.3 Palmas
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.