ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – Ironman 70.3 wrapped up Saturday afternoon in St. George with some new all-time course records.
Canadian Lionel Sanders crossed the finish line at 3 hours, 41 minutes and 11 seconds.
“I’m inspired greatly by the surroundings and the desert and I just enjoy pushing myself here for whatever reason, and it’s why I keep coming back,” said Sanders, Ironman 70.3’s Champion.
Before Sanders was an Iron Man athlete, he shares he was a drug addict who decided to then change his life around.
“If you truly want to make a change in your life, you can. It’s all dark and you don’t see any positive, but when you truly decide to make that change, it’s amazing how the stars align,” said Sanders.
Athletes from all over the world came to compete in the Pro-Championship 2018 Triathlon – a 1.2 mile swim in Sand Hollow, a 56-mile bike ride through Snow Canyon, and a 13.1 mile run through Utah’s scenic red rock.
“Truly great to be here. always enjoy this race, even if it’s so hard,” said Sebatian Kienle, second place winner.
“People love to come here and experience this beautiful scenery,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike.
“Nicest course honestly that I’ve ever done. I’ve raced ITU growing up and traveled all over the world, and I honestly think this is my favorite, said Paula Findlay, Ironman 70.3’s female winner.
Findlay came in at 4 hours 15 minutes and 53 seconds. Jeannie Seymour from South Africa finished second, and Sarah True finished third.
“I’m just like totally shocked, so yeah, it’s a great day,” said Findlay.
“I think the most amazing thing about this race is the support of the community. This whole town was behind the race, said Michael Weiss, third place champion.
“I love the community spirit. This is what we do. We’re about activity. We’re about optimism,” said Pike.
This is the ninth year St. George has hosted this race. It brings in athletes from 36 countries and over 6 million dollars to the states economy.