Yes, it’s busy. Cluttered. And roads will be closed throughout the St. George area.
But Kevin Lewis asks local residents to please give Ironman a chance.
“There’s no question it’s impacting the community,” said Lewis, Washington County’s director of tourism. “What it does to your community is it creates an energy and vibe that just propels the community forward.”
It’s not just any Ironman event, which St. George has hosted before, but this Saturday it’s the Ironman World Championships.
This will be the first time the sport’s biggest event will be held outside of Hawaii.
“I think they’ve seen that over the years as we’ve been doing these events, they’ve seen the enthusiasm of the community and they’ve seen that support and they’ve seen the beautiful setting and they’ve said it’s It’s a place where we can do that,” Lewis said.
The course goes from Sand Hollow State Park to St. George, Gunlock, Veyo and back to St. George in a loop.
It’s two and a half miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking, then a marathon run.
“St. George has been with open arms since they started, and Ironman has realized that,” said David Scott.
Scott is a 6-time Ironman World Champion and part of the Sports Hall of Fame.
He is not participating in this event, but he loves that it is in St. George this year.
This is a decision that was made due to the COVD concerns and restrictions that were in Hawaii.
“I asked athletes around the world, what do you think of southern Utah? What do you think of this course? They’re all top ten,” Scott said.
The landscape and the topography make it a special route.
More than 5,000 volunteers will be part of the event, according to Lewis.
This shows that there is strong support in the community, but the organizers know that all these closed roads for the course will not appeal to everyone.
This is why they ask for patience.
Instead of seeing the bad, organizers hope people can see the good.
“A little time out of your day goes a long way toward the economic impact, benefits, and excitement of hosting an event like this,” Lewis said. “There are a lot of negative things in the world today. To do something like that is really a positive thing and that’s what we try to do. We’re just trying to keep doing good.