ST. GEORGE — In 2017, out of all Ironman 70.3 races across the globe, the St. George event received two major Athlete’s Choice Awards from the Ironman organization: Best Race Venue Experience and Best Host City Experience.
These awards came largely due to the hundreds of volunteers that make an athlete’s experience so great. And with the approach of the 2018 event, organizers are again looking to fill hundreds of volunteer positions to help throughout race week.
With the event slated for May 5, volunteer director Colby Neilson has opened opportunities for hundreds of individuals and volunteer teams to help with one of the largest and most exciting events of the year.
The volunteer-to-triathlete ratio is typically 1:1, Neilson said, and thus far approximately 500 volunteers have committed for this year’s event, providing an opportunity for 1,500 more to join the effort that lead to the race receiving such prestigious awards.
“This is such a huge event which spans across the county starting in Hurricane, to Washington, to Ivins, Winchester Hills, back to St. George. It takes many hands to support this effort,” Neilson said. “Volunteers have remarked how exciting it is to be involved and part of the Ironman experience – especially being a part of the experience with the athletes.”
To compete in an Ironman race, it takes hundreds of hours of training, careful attention to a person’s diet and a dedication well beyond the average person for triathletes. Likewise, the Ironman 70.3 St. George doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes a small army of volunteers to provide race support for the more than 2,100 participants, displaying the best in volunteerism.
Volunteers handle a variety of tasks during race week and race day, which vary in length of time commitment. Among the variety of options available include:
- Packet stuffing (May 2).
- Athlete registration (May 2-3).
- Gear bag check in (May 4).
- IronKids Fun Run (May 4).
- Aquatic support and medical (May 5).
- Bike course pointers (May 5).
- Aid stations (May 5).
The St. George community has hosted an Ironman event every year since 2010. Post-race surveys have noted that volunteers for the St. George race are among the friendliest the athletes have encountered in Ironman races.
“The event is only as awesome as the volunteers,” Neilson said. “The volunteers make up the experience for the athletes. We have wonderful people in our community and hope to continue to have the best race on the circuit.”
To volunteer, visit the Ironman 70.3 St. George volunteer webpage, where all the different volunteering options are listed along with how many spots are available. The deadline to volunteer is April 30.