Organizers, communities planning for return of Ironman 70.3 Western Mass.

As we look ahead to next year, one popular triathlon is making its way back to our area.
Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 2:53 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2023 at 1:13 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - As we look ahead to next year, one popular triathalon is making its way back to our area.

“Our athletes’ response was ‘Wow,’” said Ironman regional director Dave Christen. “There’s a lot of work to do…We just felt at home. It didn’t feel like a first-year event.”

It’s the 70.3-mile race where athletes compete in running, biking, and swimming. Ironman 70.3 Western Mass. is coming back to the Springfield area next year after a successful first year run in June. However, the race is much more than a competition. It’s also about community.

“From your housing and accommodations groups, from just…it seems like a small thing, but even just welcoming us with signage and just a ‘We’re excited to see you’ and ‘We’re excited to have you,’” Christen explained. “Those are unique soft touches that communities and regions like western Mass. can really showcase who they are.”

The excitement is visible. More than 2,000 competitors are expected in 2024, which is a bump up from this year’s 1,400 triathletes. One of those returning Ironmen is West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt.

“I will say I’m already in a training routine right now. That’s far ahead of what I was doing this time last year, so it looks promising that i will be back,” Reichelt said.

He told Western Mass News he’s not just training for himself. He’s also getting his town ready as well.

“We learned a lot. Seeing six or seven communities work together on this, with one event organizer, we all learned things we can do better in the future,” Reichelt noted.

It also seems like the competition isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

“We don’t like to show up in markets and then disappear. We like to be in places for long periods of time and that’s our intention here in western Mass. We’re just excited to see what the future holds and hopes everyone has a great time,” Christen noted.

Next year’s event is slated for June 9, 2024. You can CLICK HERE for more information on registration.