St. George prepares to host Ironman World Championship
ST. GEORGE, Utah — Yes, it’s busy. Crowded. And roads will be closed all over the St. George area.
But Kevin Lewis is asking local residents to please give the Ironman a chance.
“There’s no question this has an impact on the community,” said Lewis, who is the tourism director for Washington County. “What it does to your community is it creates an energy and a vibe that just propels the community forward.”
This isn’t just any Ironman event, which St. George has hosted before, but this Saturday is the Ironman World Championships.
It’ll be the first time the sport’s biggest event is being held somewhere other than Hawaii.
“I think they saw that over the years as we hosted these events, they saw the enthusiasm of the community and they saw that support and they saw the beautiful setting and they said this is a place we can do this,” said Lewis.
The course goes from Sand Hollow State Park to St. George, Gunlock, Veyo, and back to St. George in a loop.
It’s 2.5 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, and then a marathon of running.
“St. George has been open arms since they started, and Ironman has realized that,” said David Scott.
Scott is a six-time Ironman world champion and is in the sport’s hall of fame.
He’s not competing in this event, but he sure loves that it’s in St. George this year.
It’s a move that was made because of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions that were in Hawaii.
“I’ve asked athletes around the world, what do you think of southern Utah? What do you think of this course? They’re all thumbs up top 10,” said Scott.
The scenery and topography make it a special course.
More than 5,000 volunteers will be a part of the event, according to Lewis.
It shows there is strong support in the community for it, but organizers know all those closed roads for the course won’t have everyone happy.
That’s why they’re asking for patience.
Instead of seeing the bad, organizers are hoping people can see the good.
“A little time out of your day goes a long way in the economic impact and the benefits and the enthusiasm by hosting an event such as this,” said Lewis. “There’s a lot of negative in the world today. Doing something like this is really a positive thing and that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re just trying to continue to do good.”
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