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For the first time in 40 years, the Ironman World Championship race will not take place in Kona. Instead, it’s landed in St. George, Utah, where a new world-class course awaits—and with it, some seriously good racing (Don’t believe us? Read contributor Tim Heming’s analysis on how the new course will shake up the world championship race dynamic.)
Excited to watch? Here’s what you need to know about the course and spectating—whether you’re at home or on the ground in St. George.
The Ironman St. George World Championship CourseSection divider
Swim: 2.4 miles
The one-loop swim course will start and finish from the same boat ramp athletes are familiar with in the Ironman 70.3 course, on the south end of the transition area in Sand Hollow State Park.
Where to watch
There will be limited space for spectators up close to the swim start (unless they have paid for VIP access); however, there will be a much larger spectator area at the north end of the transition area, where the entirety of the swim course can be viewed. A coffee cart will be in the spectator area for those who wish to purchase a warm beverage, though it is recommended you bring your own if you wish to save money and avoid long lines.Section divider
Bike: 112 miles (7,374 ft. elev.)
From the reservoir, there’s a quick downhill (one direction) before the rolling hills to town. The first large loop hits a major climb with 12% grades known as “The Wall” at 75 miles, before a long descent into town. The smaller second loop should then be familiar to anyone who’s raced here before; athletes will tackle Snow Canyon around the 100-mile point before the descent again into town.
Where to watch
There are multiple locations where spectators can catch the action. These locations all have restaurants and shops nearby for picking up food and essentials.
Hurricane: 3000 South and SR-7 (access from 1100 West)
Washington: Turnaround at Main Street and 100 South (access from Telegraph Street)
Ivins: Snow Canyon Parkway and Center Street
Shivwits: Shivwits Convenience Store, Old Highway 91
Veyo: SR-18 and Center Street (Veyo Pie Shop)
St. George: Red Hills Parkway from 1000 East to Bluff Street; Main Street from 200 North to 100 South; Main Street and TabernacleSection divider
Run: 26.2 miles (1,413 ft. elev)
The new “flat” run course still has just over 1,400 feet of elevation gain over two laps. Athletes will head out the deceptively false flat uphill on Diagonal Street before passing that main intersection from the bike course and then turning onto the bike path for a downhill out and an uphill back. The run down into the finish will be fast. Do it twice.
Where to watch:
The run is entirely contained within the town of St. George. Each of these locations allows spectators to view athletes at least two times during the race.
Red Hills Parkway from 1000 East to Bluff Street and Main Street from 200 North to 100 South are located on both the bike and run courses; athletes pass through once on each leg.
Mathis Park and Royal Oaks Park: Ideal locations for spectators with small children to view the run, as both have playgrounds and plenty of shade.
Main Street and Tabernacle: Some spectators enjoy setting up their “camp” at Main Street and Tabernacle, where athletes pass through a total of six times (bike and run) on their way to the finish. A large M-Dot monument in the middle of the roundabout provides an interesting backdrop for photos, and the location provides easy access to the finish line. Because of this, it is quite popular (read: crowded). There is also little shade, which can make for a very long, uncomfortable day for spectators. Plan accordingly and arrive early to find your ideal spot.
Looking for more in-depth course details? Check out: Everything You Need to Know About the Ironman St. George CourseSection divider
Spectator Course Logistics
Understandably, the event will draw a lot of people to the southwestern corner of Utah—an estimated 20,000 spectators are expected to line the course on race day.
Are you heading to Utah to watch the world championship race in person, expect to be on the move all day. The Ironman St. George course covers a lot of ground; it was designed to showcase the Greater Zion area, a 2,400-square mile region that contains Zion National Park, the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin. The 112-bike course alone loops through nine towns, two state parks, and a national conservation area (like we said, a lot of ground). But getting around isn’t as simple as hopping in your car and driving from one point to the next. In fact, there are many areas where you won’t be able to drive your car at all, most notably to T1 and the swim venue, Sand Hollow Reservoir.
Getting to the Ironman St. George swim venue
The swim portion of the race is located 18 miles from the St. George town square, where T2 and the finish line are, and will be closed to all athlete and spectator vehicles. Instead, anyone who is racing or spectating must board a shuttle at the Ironman Village in downtown St. George between 3:45 and 7:30 a.m. on race morning (arrive early, as long lines are expected), where they will be transported to Sand Hollow. After the swim start, the shuttles will begin running again from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. to return spectators to the town square.
To view the pro start, it is recommended spectators board a shuttle no later than 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Getting around the Ironman St. George bike and run courses
Multiple portions of the bike and run courses will be closed to vehicles, including Snow Canyon State Park. There will be no spectator shuttles provided for those who wish to watch the race outside of downtown St. George. Those who wish to drive to certain points of the race should expect traffic delays and limited parking.
What to pack
Spectating is a long day with a lot of action – especially on a course like St. George, where you’ll most certainly be on the go all day. Having a “go bag” with the essentials will make things much more comfortable as you jet around. Here’s what you should pack in yours when watching Ironman St. George.
RELATED: Gear Guide for the Ironman Spectator
- Mornings in St. George tend to be cold, so bring warm clothes and possibly a blanket to the swim start.
- A packed breakfast or snack is also recommended, especially if you are boarding an early shuttle, as it will be hours before you are able to return to town to acquire something to eat.
- A printed copy of the Ironman World Championship Community Guide by the Greater Zion Convention and Tourism Bureau, which has a wealth of information on schedules, traffic closures, and more.
- St. George weather can be unpredictable. As the day goes on, it will likely get much warmer. Wear layers, and bring a hat and sunscreen. Pack an umbrella or poncho in case it rains.
- Carry plenty of water, either in a hydration bladder or bottles.
- You will likely be waiting for long periods of time to see your athletes come by; a blanket, camp chairs, or other comfortable seating options are recommended.
- It may be challenging to find a place to plug in your phone for a charge, so bring a battery pack or two for your electronic devices.
- A pack of sidewalk chalk is a fun way for kids and grown-ups alike to pass the time write messages of encouragement for athletes on the pavement. Cowbells and noisemakers are also encouraged—the more noise, the better!
Can’t get enough Ironman World Championship coverage? Bookmark this page for the latest news and insider info from St. George.
From March/April 2022