The IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio returns to the city of Delaware this weekend for the fourth consecutive year. A record field of 2,600 participants is expected to descend on Delaware for the event.
Athletes will begin the competition at 7 a.m. Sunday with a 1.2-mile swim that will begin and end on the shores of the beach at Delaware State Park. From there, athletes will hop on their bikes for a 56-mile ride that will take them north into Marion County before looping through Morrow County and back to Delaware at Selby Stadium.
The triathlon will finish with a half marathon, or 13.1-mile run, that will begin at Selby Stadium and take athletes over to Berlin Station Road, across Braumiller Road, and then back up Pollack Road as the runners head toward the finish line on the track at Selby Stadium.
“It’s definitely the welcoming atmosphere,” race director Ken Hammond said of the IRONMAN Ohio event continuing to return to Delaware. “The city sort of rolls out the red carpet for all the athletes and staff … we really find the atmosphere of these smaller communities to be a good part of (the event).”
Hammond has directed the race all four years it has been held in Delaware. He said the hospitality from the city of Delaware for the event plays a large role in why the event continues to grow each year. Hammond went on to say that while there are a lot of participants from the state of Ohio, typically anywhere from 38 to 42 states and up to two dozen countries are represented in the events.
Top performers in the event can earn one of 40 qualifying spots offered for the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, which will be held next November in Taupo, New Zealand. The announcement of world qualifiers will follow the award ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Beginning at noon today, the IRONMAN Village will open up at Selby Stadium and will serve as a central hub for all things leading up to race day. Athletes can check-in from noon to 7 p.m. today, or from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Mandatory bike check-in will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Delaware State Park beach on Saturday, with a mandatory run gear check-in at Selby Stadium during those same hours.
The village will also include the official IRONMAN store and a bike service station.
Anyone who has not preregistered for the event can do so at the IRONMAN Village today or Saturday. However, registration will be on a first-come, first-serve basis until the event is full. Hammond said the event has approximately 75 spots open for athletes who still wish to participate.
On Saturday, kids can get in on the fun as well with the IRONKIDS Ohio Fun Run. The Fun Run ranges from a “Diaper Dot Dash” for children up to 2 years old who are able to independently crawl 15 feet, to a mile run for those between the ages of 7 and 14 years old.
Registration for all durations of the Fun Run is $20 and can be done at the IRONMAN Village Saturday morning between 7:30-8:45 a.m. The race will begin at 9 a.m.
For more information on the event, visit www.ironman.com/triathlon/events.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @ddavis_gazette.