St. George prepares to host first-ever Iron Man full-distance triathlon World Championship

ST. GEORGE, Utah — For the first time in its history, the Iron Man full-distance triathlon World Championship will be held in St. George rather than its usual location in the Hawaiian Islands.

On May 7, the world’s best athletes will descend upon Washington County for the Ironman’s full-distance triathlon world championship event. Due to uncertainties and travel restrictions imposed by the state of Hawaii, St. George was selected as the alternative site for 2021.

In an interview with KSL, Kevin Lewis, the director of the Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Office, shared that he was both surprised and honored to be asked to host the prestigious race.

“This is a huge event,” Kevin Lewis said in an interview with KSL. “This is the most iconic endurance event in the world. It’s been in Hawaii for 44 years and the first time in Utah. It’s going to take a lot to pull it off, and we definitely want to put on a good show.”

While this will be the first full-distance triathlon world championship in St. George, the city is no stranger to Ironman events. Since 2010, St. George has hosted several events, including the Ironman 70.3 World Championship or, half Ironman, and is set to host that race again this October.

“So, three world championships here in the course of 13 months,” Lewis told KSL. “No destination has ever done anything like that.”

Approximately 3,500 athletes are expected to participate in the May 7 world championship. According to the tourism office, the race is projected to produce between $30 million and $35 million into the local economy.

In response to St. George’s willingness to host the event, Ironman executives stated their appreciation of St. George and that they stepped up to host the Ironman World Championship with full confidence it would be an outstanding event.

“We are fortunate to have built such a strong and trusted relationship with our friends in the greater St. George region over the past 10-plus years,” Andrew Messick, Ironman Group’s president and chief executive officer said in a statement.

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