ST. GEORGE, Utah - Athletes from across the country are making their way to St. George this week, in preparation for the Ironman 70.3 competition.
It’s one of the biggest economic generators for Southern Utah.
Tuesday crews put up the tents that will make up Ironman village.
Tourism directors said it’s an exiting week, when a year of preparation comes together, not just for the city, but for the athletes who will compete.
“These are people who have committed to do something pretty unique,” St. George Tourism Bureau sports marketing director Kevin Lewis said. “70.3, that’s a long way to go in a day.”
Close to 2,600 athletes are expected to compete in Saturday’s triathlon, many of those professionals in the sport.
The St. George race is a qualifying race for higher circuits.
Over the past six years, St. George has been synonymous with Ironman.
Lewis says it’s become a defining event for the area.
“It’s more than retirement and golf,” Lewis said. “It’s about getting out and getting after life.”
St. George resident Sharon Peck said it’s exciting. The Ironman is a bit of an inconvenience with closed roads and added crowds but she said it’s worth any inconvenience.
“It’s awesome,” Peck said. “There are so many people who come from all around the country and all around the state and we always have beautiful weather. It’s a lot of fun.”
The Ironman race is Saturday with a number of events leading up to it.