St. George among 3 finalist cities to host Ironman 70.3 World Championship

U.S. Pro Champion Meredith Kessler, Ironman 70.3 St. George. St. George, Utah, May 3, 2014 | Photo courtesy of St. George and Zion National Park Tourism, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Ironman announced Tuesday that the Ironman 70.3 World Championship triathlon will be returning to the United States in 2017 with a new two-day event, and St. George is listed among three finalists to be chosen as the host city for the event.

According to a press release from Ironman, the three cities chosen as finalists in the selection process — all of which currently host an Ironman or Ironman 70.3 event — are Chattanooga, Tennesee; Lake Placid, New York; and St. George.

Professional Ironman triathlete and 2015 Ironman 70.3 St. George female winner, Heather Wurtele, exits the water and heads toward the bike transition at the Ironman 70.3 St. George, Sand Hollow Reservoir, Hurricane, Utah, May2, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
Professional Ironman triathlete and 2015 Ironman 70.3 St. George female winner, Heather Wurtele, exits the water and heads toward the bike transition at the Ironman 70.3 St. George, Sand Hollow Reservoir, Hurricane, Utah, May 2, 2015 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

“With the global explosion of Ironman 70.3 races, we expect approximately 4,500 athletes from around the world to qualify for the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship, which is too many for a single day of racing,” Andrew Messick, chief executive officer of Ironman, said in the same press release. “We are focused on providing more opportunities for women to race with us globally and, after consulting with members of our Women For Tri Board, felt that having a separate race for female professional and age group athletes would be a strong step forward for our sport.”

The Ironman 70.3 World Championship rotates to a new global city each year, a process which began in 2014 in Mount-Tremblant, Canada. In August, the race will travel to Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria; and in 2016, it will head south to Queensland, Australia.

The news that St. George has been selected as a finalist to host the 2017 event has been met with positive reactions from both the St. George Tourism Office and the Utah Sports Commission.

Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, said:

It’s great for Utah to be among the final three destinations competing to host the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships. I’m excited and hopeful that we will be selected to host such a world class event.

“For a community of our size to be in the same conversation with upcoming world championship destinations like the Austrian Alps and Australia’s Sunshine Coast speaks volumes for what we are all about,” Roxie Sherwin, director of the St. George Tourism Office, said. “We have a great community with fantastic vision and we’re excited for what the future might bring.”

Kevin Lewis, director of sports marketing for the St. George Tourism Office, said:

We’re thrilled to be in the discussion for such a significant event. St. George offers a powerful combination of scenery and terrain, and we back it up with an energetic community full of people who want to make a difference.

Resources

  • Ironman 70.3 World Championship | Website

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