WEST SPRINGFIELD — Triathletes will ride again in West Side this year, and after pedaling from Springfield to Granville and back, they could do with a boost from youthful fans.

Town resident Kristen Debian asked the School Committee on April 23 to have the schools encourage students to stand along the race course in West Springfield holding signs and providing encouragement to the competitors in the June 9 event.

Debian said during last year’s Ironman Western Massachusetts 70.3, she volunteered as the captain of one of the relief stations along the 13.1-mile running route. She said it was inspiring not only to see the athletes pushing themselves to their physical limits, but also the number of West Springfield residents who turned up to cheer the competitors. She said she’d like to see even more of that in 2024, perhaps as a tie-in with celebrations of the town’s founding in 1774.

“I would really like, especially with the 250th birthday, to get people excited about it,” she said. “What they’re asking for this year, especially with our birthday, is to get the schoolkids involved.”

The triathlon is not just a physical test for locals, but a showcase for Western Massachusetts for athletes from around the world, Debian said. She said she heard several languages spoken by competitors last year, and saw entrants from as far away as New Zealand and Germany.

Last year’s running and bicycling courses passed along the West Springfield Town Common on their way to the North End Bridge and finish lines in Springfield. This year, the running course stays on the Springfield side of the river, but the 56-mile bicycle course again crosses West Springfield.

Bikers will enter the town from Westfield on Route 20, then follow Dewey and Country View streets, Amostown and Piper roads, North and South boulevards and Park Street, crossing the bridge into Springfield. They are expected to be on West Springfield roads between 8 a.m. and noon. All roads will remain open to motor vehicles, but drivers should expect delays.

Mayor William Reichelt, who competed in last year’s Ironman triathlon, said he appreciated seeing some friendly faces during the run, which is the final leg of the grueling event.

“I would say it was awesome having our students on the Common last year when I was dying,” he said.

The bicycle route starts and ends in Springfield. It also passes through Longmeadow, Agawam, Suffield, Southwick, Granville and Westfield. The first section of the Ironman competition is a 1.2-mile swim in the Connecticut River. For more information on the race, visit www.ironman.com/im703-western-massachusetts.