FRANKFORT — Changes are coming to the IRONMAN 70.3 Michigan triathlon hosted by Traverse City in 2019. 

The event will relocate to Frankfort, starting in 2021, as part of a multi-year deal announced in a press statement by the Ironman Group Thursday. 

Traverse City Tourism president Trevor Tkach said a recent partnership between Benzie County Hotels and TC Tourism lead to the new deal that could last up to three years. 

”It was a win to keep the event in the region and because we represent a five-county region, I still consider this a Traverse City event,” Tkach said. “We’re grateful to be able to have it back in our neighborhood and use it as a way to brand our region.” 

The 2019 Ironman event in TC was met with great customer reviews, rating it as one of the best events in North America in several categories, but also saw negative feedback because of road closures and inconvenience. 

This led officials to seek other host sites outside of downtown TC to eliminate travel restrictions and effect a less densely populated area. 

The 2021 event is scheduled for Sept. 12, 2021 and registration begins Dec. 21, 2020. 

Ironman officials did not reveal the new course layout but said it will consist of a 1.2-mile swim in Frankfort Harbor, a 56-mile bicycle ride on sections of M-22 and a 13.1-mile run in Frankfort and the surrounding area. 

“The 2019 event was amazing and was the fastest Ironman event to sell out that year,” Tkach said. ”I think the relationship is very symbiotic, they liked being here because it was a good product and we like to have them here because it represents health and wellness and increases leisure travel in a time a year that we need it.” 

Follow Jake on Twitter @JakeAtnip

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