Discover the Desert: Exploring the iconic route of the Ironman World Championship

SOUTHERN UTAH — For the first time in its 44-year history, the Ironman World Championship is moving from Kona, Hawaii, to St. George. On May 7, over 2,500 of the best triathletes from around the globe will compete for glory while battling some of the toughest terrain on the Ironman circuit.

In this episode of “Discover the Desert,” presented by the CasaBlanca Resort & Casino, host Colleen Rue breaks down the iconic race route. Rue finished her first Ironman in 2012 right here in St. George and knows the challenge that awaits these competitors as they push their limits in the “Land of Endurance.”

Get a preview of the Ironman World Championship course with Colleen Rue in this episode of “Discover the Desert” in the media player above.

“It’s pretty easy to see why Ironman decided to come to St. George when Kona, Hawaii, wasn’t an option,” she said.

It all starts at Sand Hollow State Park, where athletes will swim 2.4 miles across the reservoir against the tranquil backdrop of a desert sunrise. Next, they’ll strip off their wetsuits and embark on a 112-mile bike ride that shows off Greater Zion’s breathtaking natural beauty. The bike route is known for hills, including the notorious climb through Snow Canyon State Park, and traverses from Hurricane to Gunlock.

Mathis Park in St. George, a new stop on the 26.2-mile run course, is a great place to spectate. Locals will be able to drive north on Dixie Drive and avoid closures of many other roads in town.

The heart of Ironman beats in Town Square, where both the finish line and Ironman Village are located.

“The finish line is what it’s all about,” Rue said. “This finish line will be the biggest party downtown has ever seen, going well into the wee hours of the morning.”

The Ironman World Championship will be an epic, once-in-a-lifetime event. Get involved by spectating or volunteering, and be inspired. Learn more at

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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