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Annual IRONMAN triathlon brings hundreds to Muncie

Athletes compete in a 70.3-mile race on Saturday

MUNCIE, Ind.--- From the chilly Prairie Creek Reservoir waters to the rolling hills, the annual Muncie IRONMAN triathlon was back in full swing last weekend. 

The 70.3-mile event is the equivalent distance of Muncie to Fort Wayne. Originally called the Muncie Endurathon, the annual event has been a staple in the community, bringing in hundreds of athletes from around the country.

You would think everyone brave enough to bear the early morning breeze is competing in the race, but a good amount of people showing up are spectators or volunteers cheering on their favorite racers.

Amjad Yassin-Kasab and Manhalh Bakdash are both cheering for Amjad’s brother Ahmad.

"I'm here, actually I'm volunteering for the medical tent, but I'm actually really here to support my cousin which is his [Amjad's] brother Ahmad Yassin-Kassab,” said Bakdash. “He’s been training for eight months for this. We just want to see him cross the finish line in good spirits and that's really our dream come true."

Some of those spectators were coaches, with good timing and sharp eyes, one coach catching her trainee just when NewsLink had cameras rolling for an interview.

"I want to make a sandwich,” said Kim Rapp’s trainee after finishing the bike portion of the race, to which Rapp replied, "No, no sandwich making. Go, go, go!.. Stephanie, the one you just saw, it's her first 70.3. I've been coaching her for about five months for this. Everybody's doing great, it's a great day."

While athletes blazed past the finish line, this weekend's race surely sparked some interest for those spectators to join next year. 

"Maybe someday. You know, you never know. You never know when the tides turn,” said Bakdash. “I saw the water was really cold this morning. I don't know if my body's meant for that but maybe in the future." 

Registration for the 2023 race is already open as athletes already begin to prepare.

Contact Alex Almanza with comments at aalmanza@bsu.edu