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According to Utah website Thespectrum.com, this may be the last year for Ironman St. George. The race, which has not sold out for 2012, has struggled with registration numbers since its inception three years ago.
Two completed races and with a third one looming, Ironman St. George is losing traction. There is talk that the race might not continue after the 2012 edition.
If that’s the case, it’s a shame.
St. George is perfect for triathlons, but unfortunately Ironman isn’t right for the area.
It’s a matter of pure logistics.
The St. George Ironman has taken place on the first Saturday in May over the past two years and will take place on May 5 this year. For many professionals and triathlon athletes, the event marks the first major race on the circuit, and it has the reputation of being one of the hardest courses.
While it makes sense for St. George and Southern Utah residents to be able to compete in the event as age groupers, others don’t have the luxury of being able to train year-round and stay in tip-top shape. It’s difficult to be ready for an extremely difficult race in such a short period of time.
The race can’t take place any later as the summer months would be too grueling on competitors.
So instead, the course underwent a few changes to accommodate both road construction and a desire to make the course a bit easier for age-groupers.
The dominoes fell after that.
By changing the course, it is likely that Ironman decided to lower the number of professional points for the race. Last year’s race was a P2000 race, while 2012 will be a P1000 race.
That means professionals aren’t compelled to race. Two-time defending champion Heather Wurtele isn’t going to race in the 2012 edition, citing the lack of points and an adjusted competitive schedule as the main reasons.
Wurtele will still be visible for the race, helping out in other ways, but said if the Ironman in St. George is discontinued she would be “bummed.”
Read more: Thespectrum.com