ST. GEORGE — After a year’s hiatus, the St. George 70.3 Ironman North American Championship triathlon returns on Saturday.
More than 3,500 athletes will race across 70.3 miles of Southern Utah by water, bike and land. Starting at Sand Hollow State Park early in the morning, it will come to a head in downtown St. George, with the finish line on Main Street.
The grand event is a source of local pride but also heavily impacts the area. Downtown will be packed, and major roads will be shut down for the majority of the day.
Here’s what you need to know for the Ironman race.
The three-legged triathlon kicks off with a 1.2-mile swim in Sand Hollow Reservoir.
The U-shape puts the swimmers just south of where they started to transition to the bike stage. The racers will embark on a 56-mile tour from Sand Hollow State Park east for a brief minute before traveling back west on major routes.
The bicyclists will interrupt traffic on State Street, Telegraph Street, Washington Parkway, Green Springs Drive (north of Interstate 15), Red Hills Parkway, Snow Canyon Parkway, Bluff Street and Diagonal Street. The race turns onto Main Street then Tabernacle, where the transition to the running portion is located.
The 13.1-mile foot race takes the athletes back up Diagonal and Bluff to Red Hills, where they’ll traverse through Pioneer Park before executing a pair of U-turns to come back the way they came. The finish line is on Main in front of Town Square Park.
Full course map photos are available at the end of the story.
The pro group starts racing at Sand Hollow at 6:50 a.m. After that, the age groups begin rolling out at 7 a.m., ending at around 8:10 a.m.. Pro athletes are expected to begin crossing the finish line three hours and 50 minutes after dive-in, at around 10:40 a.m.
Lionel Sanders set the course record for men in 2018 with a time of 3:41:11, and Holly Lawrence set the women’s mark in 2019 at 4:06:05.
Athletes that lag behind will face cutoff times to ensure the race ends in a timely manner. Athletes who do not transition from swimming to bicycling within five hours and 30 minutes of the final wave start will be cut. The total cutoff time is 8.5 hours after final wave start, meaning the race will end at around 4:40 p.m. should all athletes start on time.
Award pickup will be between 4-6 p.m.
Complete road closure information is available here.
Traffic advisories have been issued in the following areas, listed in order of expected disruption start time:
- Sand Hollow Road
- Dixie Springs
- State Route 7
- 3000 South
- 5300 West
- Telegraph Street
- Washington Parkway
- Green Springs Drive
- Red Hills Parkway
- Snow Canyon Parkway
- State Route 18
- Diagonal Street
Eastern roads will open back up sooner. Closures and delays on Telegraph Street are expected to end around 11:45 a.m. Diagonal Street, however, is expected to be disrupted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Full advisories for each area are available on the Greater Zion website.
The athletes range in age from 18 to 81 years old. They’ll compete for a share of the $100,000 prize pool, given to the top-10 finishers for both men and women. Furthermore, 250 qualifying slots to return to St. George for the World Championship in September are on the line, in addition to 50 for Women For Tri, which is a dedicated pool of 1,000 slots for top female finishers to compete in the global finals as well.
Among the competitors will be Daniela Ryf from Switzerland, a four-time Ironman world champion and five-time Ironman 70.3 world champion. Great Britain’s Holly Lawrence is a 14-time 70.3 event winner who took the 2016 global crown. Lawrence has won the St. George event twice. American Ben Hoffman has also won the St. George event and came in second in the 2014 full-length Ironman world championships.
Of the 3,574 athletes competing, 108 are professional. The entire pool represents 31 countries and 41 states. Washington County will have 108 representatives, and 645 will come from the state of Utah, second to the 883 from California.
For the swim portion of the event, spectators will be able to watch along Sand Hollow State Park.
Spectating options for the biking portion span the three cities involved. Those in Hurricane can watch at the bike turnaround point on 3000 South. In Washington, Razor Ridge Park, North Main Street and North Green Spring Drive are options. In St. George, viewing along Red Hills Parkway and Snow Canyon Parkway are available, as well as downtown. Since some access roads will be closed, some viewing areas will need to be walked to for the bike portion.
For the running portion, downtown St. George and Red Hills Parkway are the best options.
A map for parking options can be found here.
All spectators and athletes around the venue are required to wear face coverings unless actively racing.
An athlete tracker can also be downloaded here to supplement the spectating experience.
St. George News will be streaming live on Facebook and posting live updates throughout the race.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.