If you’re one of the 1 in 1,000 people who have completed an Ironman, or are friends with one, you may have heard the most recent news; the 2022 Intermountain Healthcare IRONMAN® World Championship is coming to Southern Utah. On May 7, 2022, St. George, Utah will host the World Championship, marking the first time since 2012 that this event will be held in the city.
This championship race will draw athletes from around the world. They’ll compete on a challenging desert course that will put both their physical and mental fitness to the test.
The IRONMAN® World Championship is also expected to draw a crowd; thousands of athletes, spectators, volunteers, and race organizers are expected to descend on St. George during race weekend, and in the days surrounding it. This means that for anyone hoping to attend, it’s important to start your travel planning early.
Thinking about taking in this incredible race, or planning to participate yourself? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the 2022 IRONMAN® World Championship, and about planning your trip.
What is an Ironman Race?
Their challenging distance and mix of events means that Ironman races hold their own place of esteem among fitness enthusiasts, runners, and triathletes. Ironman races are a type of triathlon, and consist of three separate parts; a run, a swim, and a bike ride.
The bike ride is the longest segment of the race, covering a distance of 112 miles or 180.2 kilometers. Racers will run a full marathon, at 26.3 miles or 42.2 kilometers. There’s also a swim, covering 2.4 miles or 3.9 kilometers. In total, a traditional Ironman is 140.6 miles or 226.3 kilometers. The average athlete takes upwards of 6 hours to complete the course, while amateurs can take up to 17 hours to complete it.
Of course, the IRONMAN® World Championship is reserved for experienced Ironman athletes. In fact, only those who qualify for the event can compete, as the race isn’t open to the public for entry. Athletes can qualify throughout the previous year during other IRONMAN® events.
The Race Returns to St. George
This isn’t the first time that the grueling Ironman race has made its way to Southern Utah, In fact, the inaugural Ironman race in St. George took place in 2010. However, those early years were plagued with a few unavoidable circumstances. In 2011, in what was only the second annual Ironman held in St. George, saw temperatures reach in the 90s (Fahrenheit). This made an already tough race particularly difficult.
In the third year, a rare storm turned the swim portion of the race dangerous. A microburst storm struck the reservoir at Sand Hollow State Park just minutes after athletes started the race. Waves in the lake reached two-to-four-feet high. Hundreds of athletes were pulled from the water. While there were no injuries, the race did earn the title of having one of the largest numbers of non-finishers of any IRONMAN® event.
In 2012, the IRONMAN 70.3, a shorter version of the race, was moved to St. George, and the full-length World Championship was moved elsewhere. But now, race organizers have announced that the event will return to St. George every other year, with the 70.3 World Championship coming to the city on in-between years. This year is the exception, as St. George welcomes both races in 2022.
The Intermountain Healthcare 2022 IRONMAN® World Championship
The Intermountain Healthcare 2022 IRONMAN® World Championship will take place on May 7, 2022. The race, which is open only to qualifying athletes, will feature four categories, including; Professional, Age Group, Handcycle, and Physically Challenged Open/Exhibition. The swim portion of the race will once again take place in Sand Hollow Reservoir.
The event is expected to bring thousands of participants and spectators to St. George for the weekend. For those planning to attend, this means that booking your transportation and accommodations early is a must.
Watchman Villas offers the perfect basecamp for Ironman athletes and their families. Each of our private villas offers space to relax and unwind ahead of the race. A fully-equipped kitchen provides space to cook a healthy pre-race meal or to stock up on snacks for after the race. Located in nearby Springdale, you’ll be just a short drive away from the starting line on race day. And after the race, enjoy easy access to Zion National Park and many of the region’s other popular attractions.
Booking Your Stay for the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship
Whether you’ll be competing in the race or are planning to come to St. George to watch the athletes compete, now is the time to book your stay.
Book your private villa at Watchman Villas today to lock in your stay for race weekend, and guarantee you have plenty of space to relax and prepare for the big day!