St. George, Utah (April 29, 2015) – St. George is preparing to welcome some of the world’s most famous triathletes who will race alongside thousands of amateur athletes this Saturday for the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 St. George North American Pro Championship.
The May 2nd race marks the sixth consecutive year that St. George has hosted an IRONMAN triathlon—a tradition that will continue for at least another five years thanks to a new agreement. This year the event has also received an elevated designation as the new championship qualifier for all of North America.
“All of Utah benefits from this partnership with the World Triathlon Corporation that attracts nearly 8,000 visitors to the state every year,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission. “We are pleased that St. George will continue to host the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship triathlon through 2020.”
The St. George race’s prize purse has increased from $75,000 to $100,000—which will be distributed among the top 10 male and female professional finishers. In addition, the approximately 3,000 registered athletes will vie for 30 coveted age-group qualifying slots for the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Austria.
“As a Championship race, St. George continues to attract the sport’s most prominent professional athletes,” said Roxie Sherwin, director of the St. George Tourism Office. “The rivalry among athletes fuels competition and gives spectators an exciting race to watch.”
St. George is one of only four regional IRONMAN 70.3 Championship destinations in the world. The course has quickly become an athlete favorite because of its intense topography, unmatched scenery and helpful volunteers.
“This is one of the premier events in the triathlon world,” said Kevin Lewis, director of sports marketing for the St. George Tourism Office. “St. George thrives as an IRONMAN 70.3 destination because the athletes love the challenge of the course, the scenery that surrounds them and the incredible support they get from the community.”
The impressive field of professional athletes registered for this year’s IRONMAN 70.3 St. George includes both the male (Sebastian Kienle) and female (Mirinda Carfrae) champions of the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship.
Other notable pros gearing up for the race include former St. George champions Ben Hoffman, Meredith Kessler, Brent McMahon and Heather Wurtele. In all, nearly 70 professional triathletes will battle for first place along the brutal yet beautiful course through southern Utah’s red rock desert.
“We are thrilled with the level of talent that will be present at the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship St. George and look forward to what is sure to be one of the most competitive races on the IRONMAN 70.3 circuit this year,” said Christopher Stadler, chief marketing officer for IRONMAN.
This year’s IRONMAN 70.3 St. George promises to offer the best in athleticism with participants representing 23 countries and 40 states. Utah is the most represented state with 788 athletes. The oldest competitor is 76 years old; the youngest is 18.
The course offers spectators and athletes unrivaled vistas and variety as they make their way through a 1.2-mile swim at Sand Hollow State Park, a 56-mile bike ride through Snow Canyon State Park, and a 13.1-mile run that ends at Town Square Park in the downtown historic district.
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The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world’s most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IRONKIDS®.
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