ST. GEORGE — Spectators will have plenty of opportunities to watch and cheer on the field of athletes during the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sept. 18.
From the start of the triathlon’s first leg at Sand Hollow State Park beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday until the finish line in downtown St. George hours later, here’s a spectator’s guide to viewing the race:
First of all, there will be no parking available on race day at Sand Hollow State Park for either athletes or spectators. Instead, athletes and spectators must take a mandatory shuttle from the Town Square in downtown St. George.
The shuttle service will run from Wednesday through Saturday (race day), with shuttles departing every half hour or so. Click here for information regarding shuttle pickup and drop-off locations and schedules.
Those wishing to see the first wave of athletes at the pro start should plan on boarding the shuttle in Town Square by 5:30 a.m. And, if planning to return to Town Square in time to see the first athletes cross the finish line, spectators should board the return shuttle no later than 8:30 a.m.
Note: shuttle arrival times not guaranteed. Spectators are advised to allow for traffic congestion, parking and walking distances when planning their day.
From the west side of Sand Hollow Reservoir on Saturday morning, spectators will be able to watch the swim portion of the race, including the athletes’ transition from swim to bike. The athletes will have a staggered or rolling start, with groups of swimmers entering the water at designated intervals. Click here for a map showing where the swimmers will enter and exit the water.
After that first leg, a 1.2-mile out-and-back open water swim that is expected to take most competitors about a half hour to complete, the athletes will begin riding their bikes along a winding 56-mile course from Sand Hollow to Hurricane and then to St. George, which will necessitate a number of road closures.
Motorists are advised to familiarize themselves with event-related traffic impacts and plan ahead to minimize problems. Click here for more road closure information. To see a detailed interactive road closure map, click here.
The Greater Zion website has complied a short list of suggested spectator viewing areas, summarized below. Click here for more information about each, including associated road closures and other traffic impacts:
- Hurricane: Intersection of state Route 7 and state Route 9 (Bike): 7-11 a.m.
- Hurricane: Turnaround at 3000 South 1100 West (Bike): 7:30-11:30 a.m.
- Washington: Turnaround at Main Street and 100 North (Bike): 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- St. George: Red Hills Parkway near Pioneer Park (Bike and Run): 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- St. George: Main Street from 400 North to 100 South (Bike and Run): 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Ivins: Snow Canyon Drive (Bike): 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At the end of the bike ride, which will take most competitors two hours or more to complete, the competitors will enter the second transition zone, located on West Tabernacle Street between Main and 100 West. There, they will trade their bikes for a pair of running shoes and commence with the final leg of the race, a 13.1-mile half marathon. The running course will take athletes on two clockwise loops, first heading back up Diagonal and Bluff streets and onto Red Hills Parkway, then back along that same loop again before dropping back toward downtown via Skyline Drive and 400 North (click here for running course map).
The finish line, probably the most popular place for spectators to line up and cheer the finishing runners, is located on Main Street in front of Town Square Park. The athletes will approach the finish line from the north. Based on previous Ironman 70.3 races staged in St. George, the top male competitors should be crossing the finish line shortly before 11 a.m., with the top females starting to come in approximately 20-30 minutes later.
All times are approximate and subject to change. Those with questions or concerns are invited to call the Ironman Helpline at 435-986-3351 or via email. Access the Greater Zion Ironman guide at the following website, while the official race website is here.
Fans can also download a free Ironman athlete tracker app to monitor their favorite competitors progress in real time. Click here for information on how to download the app to your phone.
St. George News will be providing full coverage of the race, including live streaming on Facebook and posting live updates throughout the race.
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