ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – The IRONMAN World Championship is scheduled to be held this Saturday, May 7 in St. George.

For those less athletically well-versed, the IRONMAN Triathlon is a long-distance race composed of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.22-mile marathon run. It is renowned for being one of the most challenging single-day racing events in the world. 

While IRONMAN races are held all around the world, the event this weekend in St. George is the yearly world championship. The event is sponsored by Intermountain Healthcare and presented by Utah Sports Commission. The championship race is accompanied by other events including shorter races, the IRONMAN Village, and more.  According to the IRONMAN organization, over 94,000 athletes competed for the opportunity to participate in this weekend’s race.

It is the first world championship to be held outside of Hawaii. The race will begin at 7 a.m., and participants have until 1:08 a.m. the next morning to finish. 

This race is technically for the 2021 championship title, as it was delayed from COVID-19 last year. The 2022 title race is scheduled to take place in Hawaii in October.

Last May, an athlete died during a similar IRONMAN race in St. George. The competitor died during the swimming portion of the race. Other deaths have been reported in IRONMAN races since they began in 1978. 

The first IRONMAN races were held in Hawaii and were partially inspired by disputes about whether runners or swimmers are better athletes. The Hawaiian IRONMAN is still regarded as one of the most prestigious triathlons in the world. 

The 2019 world champion in IRONMAN racing was Jan Frodeno from Germany, who completed the entire race in just under eight hours. As of mid-April 2022, Frodeno is not scheduled to participate in this year’s championship in St. George because of an injury, opening up the title to a new contender.