Frankfort prepares for Ironman this weekend

Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 09/08/2021, 4:26 PM
Edited: 09/09/2021, 2:28 AM

Photo Credit: Traverse City Tourism

(FRANKFORT, Mich.) More than 3,000 athletes will participate in the Ironman 70.3 in Frankfort on Sunday. 

The Ironman race took place in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties in 2019, but was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19. 

The competition includes 13.1 miles of running, 56 miles of cycling, and 1.2 miles of swimming. 

Joanne Bartley, the Executive Director of the Frankfort Elberta Chamber of Commerce, says this is one of the biggest events Frankfort has ever hosted. 

She says she's noticed more people in town this week and says this is a great opportunity for businesses after Labor Day.

"It's not gonna be just a one day thing, it's gonna be for four days, I think these businesses will see an increase in traffic for sure," said Bartley. 

Bartley also says that even with short staffing, businesses in the area have been gearing up for the event. 

"I've noticed a lot of the businesses are restructuring like they closed an extra day last weekend so that they can be open and you know preserve their staff in order to work the weekend for the Ironman," said Bartley. 

The event is also expected to benefit the area this weekend and in the future by bringing people to the area who have never visited before. 

“Ironman attracts a high caliber, tremendously driven athlete,” said Trevor Tkach from Traverse City Tourism, a sponsor of the event. “Many have never travelled to northern Michigan. It becomes a great opportunity to showcase the region with a hope that they will return with their families again and again.”

Bartley said she's already heard from an Ironman participant who is excited to do the event in Northern Michigan. 

"He said he came to town and did the route and he absolutely loved it and he thought it was the greatest place he's ever seen in his life," said Bartley. "He already couldn't wait to come back to participate."

Traverse City Tourism says there will be volunteers at different points throughout the race with support tents. 

Bartley says residents affected by road closures due to the race have been notified. 

The race will begin at 8am on Sunday and the awards ceremony will be on Sunday at 5pm. 

More information about this weekend's race can be found here:


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