IRONMAN Triathlon Brings Music, Games, and More for Runners and Spectators in Muncie

The Naptown Hepcats will open for the Dave Bennet Quartet on Thursday at Canan Commons. Photo providedThe Naptown Hepcats will open for the Dave Bennet Quartet on Thursday at Canan Commons. Photo provided

By Michele Owen—

MUNCIE, IN—On Saturday, July 13, IRONMAN 70.3 returns to Muncie, celebrating its 45th anniversary. The race, once named the Muncie Endurathon, is one of the Midwest’s most popular triathlons, and the oldest 70.3 distance race in the continental US. In 2022, the Muncie race was voted the number one participant experience in all of the US, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

Nearly 1,000 athletes will compete in the long-distance triathlon, which begins with a 1.2-mile swim in the beautiful Prairie Creek Reservoir, followed by a 56-mile bike ride through Delaware and Henry counties, and finally a 13.1-mile run.

Leading up to the event, Muncie merchants and the City will be hosting events and festivities open to the public. To kick off the weekend, on Thursday, July 11, the City will be rolling out the red carpet during registration at the Horizon Convention Center. Athletes can enjoy photo opportunities, a gift bag, and a warm welcome before race day. “You can feel the buzz of excitement in the downtown as we are preparing to celebrate the Iron Man athletes and their families for the entire weekend,” said Angie Hibner, Executive Director for Muncie Downtown Development Partnership.

Thursday evening will kick off at 5 pm with an on-street, after-hours Thursday shopping experience with downtown merchants. Then, at 6 pm, rockabilly band The Naptown Hepcats will open for the Dave Bennet Quartet on the Canan Commons stage. The concert, sponsored by the City of Muncie, is free and open to the public.

On Friday, families are invited back to Canan Commons for a picnic in the park, which includes an evening of food trucks and games from 6-9. At 8, popcorn will be provided for an outdoor movie screening of Iron Cowboy: The Story of the 50.50.50 Triathlon.

The race begins at 7 am on Saturday, and will last until about 4 pm. Roads surrounding the reservoir will be closed until about 2 o’clock, so spectators are invited to arrive early and enjoy food trucks while they cheer the athletes on.

“Competing in a 70.3 mile race truly is a remarkable accomplishment,” commented Mayor Ridenour, who completed the race in 2021 and has raced with the City relay team every year since. “Muncie has a proud tradition of long-distance triathlon, and we’re looking forward to celebrating the 45th anniversary.”