The Start of an Annual Tradition in Shores & Islands Ohio
This past summer the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio was hosted at City of Sandusky in Shores & Islands Ohio. The event marks the start of an annual tradition, as IRONMAN, City of Sandusky, and Shores & Islands Ohio agreed to a three-year deal that will see the event return to the destination in 2023 and 2024. This will be the only IRONMAN event in Ohio during that time frame.
IRONMAN found a home in Shores & Islands Ohio, also known as America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital, as the area embodies the excitement of a race weekend felt from the very first-time visitors to becoming a seasoned regular part of the welcoming community. The unforgettable 8+ hour race experience starts with athletes jumping off the Kelleys Island Ferry “Carlee Emily” at the Jackson Street Pier, part of downtown Sandusky, for 1.2-mile swim in Lake Erie.
After a loop along the Sandusky Bay and to the Paper District Marina, the athletes make the transition from water to land and begin cycling through Erie and Sandusky counties, climbing approximately 790 feet over the course of 56 miles across scenic rural county roads.
Athletes return to the Paper District Marina after completing the bike course, before beginning the 13.1-mile run through the streets in downtown Sandusky.
After two loops of the run course, the athletes finish the race on Columbus Avenue in front of the Historic Sandusky State Theatre, with Schade Mylander Plaza framing views of Lake Erie as competitors cross the line. All this on an exciting coastal course while being surrounded by spectators from start to finish!
While race day is the highlight, this is actually has become a weekend long event. IRONKIDS Ohio takes place the Saturday before IRONMAN, where hundreds of athletes under the age of 18 have the opportunity to join in the action with three distances for different age groups.
Starting at the Jackson Street Pier, the Toddler Dot Trot is a 30-foot dash for children age 1-3, as well as half-mile and mile races for ages 3-8 and 5-17.
Jackson Street Pier in Sandusky is also the scenic host of the IRONMAN Village that is free and open to the public, housing athlete registration as well as a number of event partners and local vendors. The Official IRONMAN Store was open on selected hours on Friday through Sunday. A variety of downtown restaurants also participated in the I’M Local Program by offering discounts for race participants and volunteers who just have to show their race bibs, medals or credentials to receive exclusive offers.
For this past year’s event, the area witnessed over 1,500 athletes participating and exceeding expectations from IRONMAN representatives for a first-year host. IRONMAN athletes traveled to Shores & Islands Ohio from 40 different states and over two dozen countries, making this the largest international sporting event for the region.
Now that the first year had a successful completion, plans are already underway for races in 2023 and 2024. The next races will be on Sunday, July 23, 2023 and Sunday, July 21, 2024. Are you IRONMAN ready? Registration is already open for IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio at www.ironman.com/im703-ohio.
Shores & Islands Ohio continues to live up to the hype of America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital because every sporting event becomes a vacation. The year-round destination offers over 8,000 sleeping rooms with a variety of top-notch venues and attractions.
There are numerous entertainment options to enhance any experience, including Cedar Point Amusement Park, the Lake Erie islands, and several indoor water parks.
Shores & Islands Ohio doesn’t measure success by trophies or medals, but by the memories and moments of all those who come here to play either on or off the field. Come find your Lake Erie Love at www.SHORESandISLANDS.com.
IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio