St. George Ironman triathlon has been canceled, organizers say

Professional triathlete Ben Hoffman makes the climb out of Snow Canyon State Park during the 2019 Ironman 70.3 in Southern Utah, May 4, 2019 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The Ironman North American Championship St. George triathlon will not be staged this year after all, event officials announced Monday. 

The race, which typically attracts hundreds of participants and several thousand visitors to the area, had originally been scheduled for May 2 but was postponed in March due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The rescheduled date was supposed to be Sept. 19.

Ironman Group officials said in a news release emailed Monday afternoon that at the time the postponement was made, “We felt confident we would still be able to deliver an exceptional event at the later date.”

“Unfortunately, based on further conversations with and direction from local authorities, including medical, health and safety leaders in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the best interest of our Ironman community and the local communities, the Ironman North American Championship St. George cannot take place in 2020,” the release said.

Shortly after the news went public, Kevin Lewis, director of the Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Office, spoke with St. George News and expressed his disappointment.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that we were not able to pull it off,” he said. “I think the team here, the Ironman team, everybody has really gone all out to try and make it happen and to see if we could return to some kind of normalcy.”

“There’s just so many individuals and organizations that are tied into this making this happen,” Lewis added. “We’ve had incredible support here, and I know we’ll continue to have that.”

Participant in the 2019 Ironman 70.3 in Southern Utah, May 4, 2019 | File photo by Hollie Stark, St. George News

“My heart goes out to everybody that’s impacted one way or another. We’ll just do our best to regroup and make it even better when we do come back.”

Ironman Group said its partnership with St. George remains strong, with a total of six races, including at least two full-length Ironman events,  scheduled to be held between 2021-25. With the cancellation of the September 2020 event, the next scheduled race in St. George will be a 70.3-mile event in May 2021.

“In 2021, will have the 70.3 North American championship in May and the 70.3 World Championship in September,” Lewis said. 

All registered athletes of the 2020 Ironman North American Championship St. George triathlon will be receiving an email with further information, the news release added.

“We thank our athletes for their commitment and look forward to providing them with an exceptional race experience in the future,” the statement concluded.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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