The Ironman 70.3 Ohio will be held in Sandusky for the next three years beginning in the summer of 2022, event organizers announced.
This year’s event will take place July 24, 2022, and athletes can register online starting Nov. 10, according to a news release. Competitors will have an opportunity to qualify for the 2022 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Utah.
The popular triathlon will consist of a 1.2-mile swim in Sandusky Bay, a 56-mile bike ride through Erie County and a 13.1-mile run along the Lake Erie shoreline. It will finish in downtown Sandusky. The course maps for the swim, bike ride and run will be available soon, according to the event’s website.
The 70.3 series is the half-Ironman version of the event. The full Ironman competition features swimming, biking and running distances that are twice as long.
The move to Sandusky comes after the Ironman 70.3 Ohio had been held in Delaware, Ohio five times since 2016. The event was not held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sandusky offers not only a unique shoreline race destination that is sure to excite athletes, but a convenient and easy access vacation experience for athletes and families alike,” Keats McGonigal, vice president of North America Operations for The Ironman Group, said in the release. “We look forward to working with our new partners in Sandusky for years to come.”
With Cedar Point as its main attraction, along with a host of water parks, Sandusky offers a tourism element. The town was named the Best Coastal Small Town in America by USA Today in 2019, the release says.
“Having an Ironman 70.3 event in America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital for the next three years, we are confident that the Shores & Islands region will deliver an unparalleled race experience while also serving as the perfect destination for both the athletes and their families,” said Christopher Lewis, sports tourism manager of Lake Erie Shores & Islands, in the release.
The Ironman 70.3 series will also host competitors next summer in places like Hawaii, Virginia, Wisconsin and Maryland. The series will also feature races around the world, including in countries like England, South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia.
The event is operated by the IRONMAN Group, which is owned by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer’s parent company, Advance.