ST. GEORGE, Utah / TAMPA, Fla. (September 2, 2021) – Following a COVID-induced hiatus in 2020, more than 3,000 professional and age-group athletes from over 80 countries, regions, and territories will descend upon stunning Southwestern Utah on Saturday, Sept. 18 for the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® 70.3® World Championship presented by the Utah Sports Commission. Among them will be over 100 of the world’s top professional triathletes who will battle for a piece of the $350,000 USD total professional prize purse and the title of IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion.
“After a long wait, we are thrilled to again host a world championship race for our top competitors with this stunning Southwestern destination of St. George, Utah,” said Andrew Messick, President & Chief Executive Officer for The IRONMAN Group. “We have a truly world-class field of professional athletes coming to compete which promises to provide an exciting race day.”
Professional Women’s Field
Since the first IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship was held in 2006 the women’s race has seen 10 different champions from five different countries. Swiss Daniela Ryf has won an event-best five times, and is coming off an undefeated season, including a win in St. George at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship earlier this year. Together with Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and Leanda Cave (GBR), Ryf also holds the distinction of having won both the IRONMAN World Championship® and the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.
Aiming to dethrone Ryf will be a stellar group of professional female triathletes, including Lucy Charles-Barclay (GBR), who is coming off a recent win at 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 European Championship Elsinore. Charles-Barclay edged out Holly Lawrence (GBR) in that event, who as the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and multiple-time IRONMAN 70.3 winner will also be aiming for the top podium spot in St. George. Additional global competition will come from Paula Findlay (CAN), Taylor Knibb (USA), Kat Matthews (GBR), Skye Moench (USA), Emma Pallant-Browne (GBR), and Ellie Salthouse (AUS), each of whom continue to impress on the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 circuits.
Professional Men’s Field
On the men’s side, a star-studded field of professional talent will come together aiming to create history in St. George. With no clear frontrunner, a few of the dominant competitors that could take a shot for a podium spot include the defending IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion from 2019 in Nice, France, Gustav Iden (NOR); Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), who has momentum coming into St. George following his recent Tokyo 2020 Olympic Triathlon win; and Lionel Sanders (CAN), who won the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship in St. George earlier this year and has over 20 IRONMAN 70.3 wins to his name. Also in contention are Alistair Brownlee (GBR), the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Triathlon Gold Medalist as well as Javier Gomez (ESP), the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship third place podium finisher. Finally, American’s Ben Kanute (USA) and Sam Long (USA) look to claim home nation victories. Kanute has multiple IRONMAN 70.3 wins and podium finishes in recent years and a second-place finish at the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, the last time the event was held on US soil. Sam Long comes in on the top of his game having won the 2021 IRONMAN Coeur d’Alene triathlon and the 2021 IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder triathlon.
The 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission will kick off with a 1.2-mile (1.9km) ROKA Swim Course, which takes place in Sand Hollow Reservoir located in Sand Hollow State Park in Hurricane, Utah. Next, a challenging 56-mile (91.3km) Ventum Bike Course will lead athletes through stunning desert landscapes with 3,442 feet (1,049 meters) of elevation gain and an unforgettable climb into Snow Canyon State Park and surrounding Washington County. The 13.1-mile (21.2km) HOKA ONE Run Course will take athletes on two loops through the stunning Red Hills Parkway and wind through historic downtown St. George where the finish line is located.
Since 2014, the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has been rotating among premier cities around the globe following its early years in Clearwater, Fla., USA (2006-2010) and Henderson, Nev., USA (2011-2013). The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship has included picturesque locations like Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada (2014); Zell am See, Austria (2015); Queensland, Australia (2016); Chattanooga, Tenn., USA (2017); Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa (2018) and Nice, France (2019). Following the cancellation of the 2020 edition, St. George, Utah, USA will play host to the event in 2021 and 2022. In 2023, the event returns to Europe with Lahti, Finland hosting.
For more information about the 2021 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship presented by Utah Sports Commission event, please visit www.ironman.com/im703-world-championship