The Student Programming Board, Hospitality Guild and Greater Zion partnered to premiere the IRONMAN Documentary on Sept. 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the upper quad.
Armed with popcorn and beverages provided by SPB, students were able to spread across the grass to watch the documentary that touches on one of the most difficult races in the world: the IRONMAN 70.3.
The IRONMAN Documentary showcased a number of individuals who competed in the 2021 St. George race. Participants strove to overcome a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, a 13.1-mile run and, most importantly, themselves.
“It takes you behind the scenes, and you see some of the characters,” said Greater Zion Tourism Director, Kevin Lewis. “You’ll see what makes this event so remarkable and the determination that people have to overcome significant odds.”
IRONMAN 70.3, which is half the length of the regular IRONMAN, began in Hawaii in 1978, but after much persuasion by Greater Zion, southern Utah’s tourism offices, the IRONMAN 70.3 was allowed to come to St. George.
In 2021, the IRONMAN brought 3,500 competitors to St. George, along with hundreds of spectators. The event brought 41 million dollars into the local economy. With the expectation of six to seven thousand competitors this year, the income is expected to double, making the IRONMAN an excellent opportunity for everyone in southern Utah.
Mia Benson, Tradition Chair of the Student Alumni Association, was able to experience these opportunities firsthand when she interned on the public relations team for the event.
“It was so cool to see our little corner of southern Utah turn into this huge event venue and see all these people from all over the world come together,” Benson said. “If you can volunteer, I would highly recommend it.”
The next IRONMAN 70.3 will take place on Oct. 28-29, 2022. Those looking to experience the event for themselves can volunteer on IRONMAN’s website or with the SUU Hospitality Guild.
Article by: Audrey Gee
Photo by: Matthew Watson