ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – St. George was recently chosen as a finalist to host the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. City officials say the final decision between St. George and Chattanooga, TN will be made in the next few weeks.
“This opportunity for a world championship is just really kind of the pinnacle,” said St. George tourism director Kevin Lewis.
With the city’s stunning scenery and many days of sunshine, local Ironman participants said they’re not at all surprised that St. George was selected as a finalist for the event. St. George will host its 10th Ironman or Ironman 70.3 triathlon next weekend.
Local participants said the events over the years have put the city in the spotlight, as the difficult terrain and world-class scenery draws top athletes from around the world.
The 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event held on a Friday and Saturday, requiring at least 4,000 volunteers in St. George.
“We embrace that and are kind of energized by that kind of commitment and spirit,” Lewis said. “You’ll see these people come out in droves to support it in ways you might not get in other areas.”
If St. George were chosen, Lewis said the Washington County School District volunteered to close down the schools the Friday of the race to clear the roads and allow for students and families to volunteer.
“We can be a small part in some way of making this dream come true, and that’s so gratifying and satisfying,” said St. George Ironman 70.3 volunteer director Colby Neilson.
City officials estimate that about $25 million would come into the economy if St. George hosted the world championship race.
It’s the second time the two cities have competed to host. Chattanooga, TN won the spot over St. George in 2017.