ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News)- The St. George Ironman 70.3 is attracting thousands of athletes from around the country this weekend. Athletes and officials at the Ironman expo Friday said the atmosphere is buzzing with extra excitement as they celebrate the announcement that St. George will host the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2021.
“Not all of the courses out there are known for being beautiful,” Ironman athlete Blythe Rauschenberg said. “This is definitely a destination race to have a beautiful swim, run and bike.”
Close to 3000 top athletes from 46 states and 35 countries are getting ready to participate in this weekend’s triathlon. City officials said athletes will face 1.2 mile swim through Sand Hollow State Park, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run through the city’s historic town square, taking in the area’s stunning scenery and tackling one of the world’s most difficult courses.
“I think it’s been a little while since there was a tougher race, so people are really excited for that with the world championship,” said Rauschenberg.
The triathlon is expected to bring about $7 million to St. George, but the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2021 will more than triple that number, bringing about $25 million worth of revenue.
“That’s good for businesses, and, of course, that helps us with sales tax revenue that allows us to reinvest in our community,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike.
The 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event on a Friday and Saturday, requiring at least 4000 volunteers. City officials said the Washington County School District volunteered to close down the schools the Friday of the women’s race, clearing the roads and allowing for students and families to volunteer.
“That’s a huge commitment from the school district,” St. George tourism director Kevin Lewis said. “I think that just shows the level of support that we have.”
General registration for the 2020 Ironman in St. George will be open on May 21.
If possible, avoid Telegraph St., Washington Pkwy., Buena Vista Blvd., and Green Springs Dr. until noon.
No SR9 access from Telegraph – Use I-15 access from Exit 10
Exit 13 will be closed – Use Exit 10
Red Hills Pkwy. – Use 700 South
St. George Blvd. Westbound – Use 700 South
St. George Blvd. Eastbound – Use Bluff Street to 700 South to 400 East
Sand Hollow, Sand Hollow Resort, Dixie Springs area – will have access during the event via the Southern Parkway from Washington Dam Rd.
For residents off Snow Canyon Drive or Tuacahn Drive, use Citadel Rd to Painted Hills Drive. Then follow 1-way alternating along Center Street with Police control to exit and enter via 200 N.
For residents north of Center Street between 200 East and 400 West, exit via 400 West.
SR 18 Northbound – Use Sunset Blvd. to 1400 West or Dixie Downs Dr., turn right onto Snow Canyon Parkway then right onto Bluff Street and make U-turn on Bluff Street and onto the SR 18 North flyover.
SR 18 Southbound – Use SR 18 flyover at Red Hills/Snow Canon the make U-turn on Bluff Street then a left onto Snow Canyon Pkwy, then take a left onto 1400 West to Sunset to Bluff Street.