Annual Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Returns in Frankfort

After a year break due to COVID-19, the Ironman 70.3 Triathlon returned for the second time in Northern Michigan.

The event took place on Sunday in Frankfort, where athletes from all over the country put their bodies to the ultimate test.

The triathlon consisted of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run, adding up to 70.3 miles of physical exercise.

Benzie County was flooded the entire weekend with thousands of friends, families and competitors.

Spectator Cindy Graves decided to surprise her best friends at the finish line with a homemade sign.

“I’m here supporting Leslie Ross and Devin Dempsey,” said Graves. “They’re friends and good friends of mine and Leslie, I actually just saw her, she was super excited, she had no idea I was here—she started crying.”

Andrew Gibson came to support his mother Sue, a new triathlete.

“It’s her first Ironman,” said Gibson. “She started this year, started cycling this year, so it’s really exciting.”

The President of Traverse City Tourism Trevor Tkach, had been planning this Ironman course for over a year.

He believes Frankfort provided a fresh and exciting new location for the returning event.

“I’m delighted with that we’ve come up with,” said Tkach. “I think this is just a beautiful course. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback, not only from the participants, but from the locals and the business community, that this is just a stellar event.”

The city experienced a surge in business with the large wave of new visitors this weekend.

 “People are coming from all over America to compete, so it’s very exciting,” said Tkach. “A lot of positive energy and a lot of money being infused into our economy.”

James Burke was the first place winner in the professional men’s division, finishing the race in just four hours and two minutes.

Olivia Dietzel finished first place in the professional women’s division in a total time of four hours and fifty minutes.

For a complete list of the race results, visit https://www.ironman.com/im703-michigan.