IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship in St. GeorgeIRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championships is the annual Triathlon held in St. George, Utah every May. Athletes worldwide come to St. George and Hurricane to compete. Athletes swim, bike, and run their way through southern Utah defying the odds of physicality and earn the distinguished title of “Ironman." The race marks the sixth consecutive year that St. George has hosted an Ironman triathlon. The North American Championships competition is considered one of the most difficult and prestigious races on the 70.3 circuit and covers hundreds of miles with ever-changing mountain terrain.
Ironman 70.3 spans hundreds of miles of difficult terrain that varies, passing through multiple cities and communities. Athletes combine swimming, biking, and running into one triathlon race competition, making this race one of the most difficult to complete. Perhaps this is the reason the title of "IRONMAN" is so prestigious. Each course presents its own logistically challenging problems, not the least of which is due to teh difficult mountainous terrain. The swimming course is 1.2 miles, then competitors bike a total of 56 miles, then run 13.1 miles. This totals 70.3 miles, hence the name IRONMAN 70.3. Just to finish is an accomplishment. Families, fans, and community residents gather as spectators to watch some of the best well-rounded athletes compete in St. George. And what a spectacle it is!
Although the climb on the run and bike courses are the most challenging on the IRONMAN's 70.3 circuit, coming down has offered some amazing intense races that are not to be missed. What is so great about IRONMAN and either race is the breathtaking panoramic views of Snow Canyon, the city of St. George, surrounding mountain ranges, and Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Climbing Snow Canyon is an interesting supportive experience for athletes, as there are motivational signage placed along the way by the local Triathlon Club, giving competitors an extra boost along the way to deaden the physical impact that part of the race has on these athletes.
The swim course takes place in the warm blue waters of Sand Hollow Reservoir in Hurricane, UT. Athletes are transported by bus the start-line from the parking lot. The course itself is a large 1.2 mile loop. Athletes begin at the south end of the parking lot swim east, then turn north and then turn west again to finish at the boat ramp. There is a swim to bike transition area at the swim finish area where athletes transition to a bike and continue to the bike course in the competition. The one–loop swim course will take place in the beautiful blue water of Sand Hollow Reservoir. Water temperature typically ranges from 60-66 degrees Fahrenheit this time of year.
view Swim Course Map
Bike CourseThe bike course spans a total of 56 miles over varying terrain. Recent additions to teh course include the new fly-over bridges at Red Hills Parkway & Snow Canyon Parkway on State Route 18. Athletes stay south on State Route 18 and ride over Red Hills and Snow Canyon Parkway until merging onto Bluff Street. No longer do athletes encounter a high-speed, right-hand turn onto Snow Canyon and the high-speed merge onto the narrow bike path to go under Snow Canyon Parkway. This fly-over removes the challenging last hill that was customary at mile-marker 53 in the race.
As a result of these recent additions and changes to the course, the course is shortened, but an additional section of the Whiptail bike path in Snow Canyon State Park is going to be added. The change will direct athletes to climb Whiptail trail which offers fantastic sand dune views. It then will merge onto Snow Canyon Drive at the Hidden Pinyon parking lot, descending Snow Canyon Drive, and then bend around and head up out of Snow Canyon State Park. The Whiptail trail section of the bike course will be open to bikes passing each other; however, bikes will be required to stay to the right in single-file when not passing.
Run CourseThe run course spans 13.1 miles and is the last part of the IRONMAN Triathlon competition. It is also the most grueling part and many don't make it. This is the part of the race that weeds out the good from the elite IRONMAN athletes. Recent changes were announced to the run course to improve athlete flow. It is expected that this change will result in some reduced elevation gain. Runners will now go through Pioneer Park only one time and the course will now also include a new out-and-back section on the bike path that overlooks downtown St. George and the finish line.
St. George is the perfect setting for IRONMAN early-Spring race
St. George weather is beautiful in early-spring. The red mountain setting surrounding the landscape is breathtaking and makes for the perfect southwest backdrop.
Vacation Home Accommodations in St. George and Santa Clara for IRONMAN 70.3
Southern Utah's Best Vacation Rentals offers St. George vacation home accommodations for IRONMAN 70.3 at the new Paradise Village at Zion. Rental homes are perfect for IRONMAN athletes and families to enjoy more space than hotel rooms, giving them the ability to recuperate between competitions and allow for teams to mingle and share in the triathlon experience together, rather than be separated. It enhances the whole race experience when teams, fans, supporters, and families can be together in a village atmosphere, while enjoy private vacation home accommodations.
To make your vacation home reservations, contact Reservations by phone (801) 747-0218 or book online using this website. Our reservations staff are local and understand the logistical complexities athletes face while competing in IRONMAN.
Experience IRONMAN 70.3 in St. George on YouTube
Watch this interesting video to see what IRONMAN 70.3 is like when planning your visit to St. George.