The Ironman World Championship runs through St. George

May 7, 2022, 7:29 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 4:36 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – In a sport where there’s always room for more cowbell, St. George showed there’s also room for big events to be held in the city on Saturday.

The Ironman World Championships took place all day and night in the St. George area. It began with a two-and-a-half-mile swim at Sand Hollow State Park, then a 112-mile bike race, finishing with a 26.2-mile run.

There’s a reason why it’s called Ironman, and St. George wanted to show the city could handle it.

“Putting this together in nine or ten months, they did a really good job,” Chanel Carter said.

Carter was watching the event in St. George because her husband was competing. They have been to St. George before to run in an Ironman Race, but the World Championships is the biggest event for this sport.

“We’ve got the whole world here in St. George,” communications director for St. George, David Cordero, said.

The Ironman World Championships have always been held in Hawaii. However, because of COVID restrictions, organizers had to look elsewhere.

They spoke about it during the event’s livestream.

“Utah put their hand up and said we can do it. We can do it for you,” one of the race broadcast announcers said. “Utah stepped up, the Utah Sports Commission stepped up, Greater Zion stepped up, and Intermountain Healthcare stepped up. Everybody stepped up to enable us to put on the kind of show we’re seeing today.”

Thousands of volunteers had no problem helping make this race a success.

“Just seeing the support from Utah, it’s made me proud to be a Utahan,” Carter said.

2500 athletes from several countries competed in this grueling swim, bike, and running race. You could feel the buzz as the first group of athletes crossed the finish line.

“World Champion!” the race announcer yelled.

Yes, this event closed many roads and made traffic difficult in St. George, However, many say the overall benefits of hosting an event as big as this one is worth the busy city for a few days.

Some estimates are $30-$35 million in economic impact for local businesses.

“We eat at the restaurants and get snacks,” Brittany Barney said, who was visiting from Draper to see the race. “It’s fun to see all the athletes and everyone come in and cheering them on. It was a really good time.”

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The Ironman World Championship runs through St. George