IRONMAN Race Set for Happy Valley

– by Jeff Cavanaugh

When most people hear IRONMAN, they probably think Robert Downey Jr. or maybe Black Sabbath or even Philadelphia Eagles’ Hall of Famer and the NFL’s last Iron Man, Chuck Bednarik. But for the next three years – and hopefully longer – IRONMAN will have a special meaning here in Happy Valley. Through 2025, nearly 3,000 ironmen and ironwomen will descend upon Happy Valley annually for the IRONMAN 70.3 Pennsylvania Happy Valley Triathlon.


The inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Pennsylvania Happy Valley Triathlon happened July 2, 2023 and returns June 30, 2024. The 70.3 mile race gives participants an amazing tour of Happy Valley and ends at the 50-yard line of Beaver Stadium. So if you’ve ever dreamed of running through the tunnel at Beaver Stadium in front of of cheering fans–this may be your opportunity!

An IRONMAN 70.3, also known as a Half IRONMAN, is a 70.3 mile race that includes a 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run – all distances are half of the full IRONMAN race. The race will begin with a 1.2-mile swim in Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir in Bald Eagle State Park, continuing with a 56-mile bike ride through Centre and Clinton counties. It will wrap up with a 13.1-mile run throughout Penn State’s campus with a finish line on the 50-yard line at Beaver Stadium. The spectator-friendly running course includes a mixture of roads and wide pedestrian walkways and passes by Old Main, The Nittany Lion Shrine, and Berkey Creamery, before concluding in Beaver Stadium.

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There are so many ways to enjoy the IRONMAN race in person – whether volunteering to work at aid stations along the route or finding the best spot in Bald Eagle State Park, somewhere on campus, or in the stands at Beaver Stadium. The IRONMAN 70.3 will set up a TriClub Village which will be the meeting spot for athletes, friends, and family. In true Penn State fashion, IRONMAN is also working to create a family-friendly tailgate atmosphere outside Beaver Stadium.

And in Happy Valley, you never know who you may be competing with – reports indicate even the Mayor of State College will be participating in the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 Pennsylvania Happy Valley Triathlon.

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This year, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be held in Lahti, Finland on August 26 and 27, 2023. 2023 IRONMAN 70.3 Pennsylvania offers 40 Age Group Qualifying slots and an extra 15 Extra Slots for Women to the 2023 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

For more information on attending the IRONMAN 70.3 or volunteering to help throughout the event, visit

From IRONMAN: Athletes will take on their race journey from a 1.2-mile swim in Foster Joseph Sayers Reservoir at Bald Eagle State Park, a scenic 56-mile bike ride through the beautiful rolling hills of Centre and Clinton Counties, culminating with a 13.1-mile run on the campus of Penn State University including a unique finish line experience for athletes inside Beaver Stadium, home to the Penn State University Nittany Lions.

IRONMAN 70.3 Pennsylvania Happy Valley is a must-do in 2024!

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at