Ironman 70.3 St. George preview: A World Championship sneak peek

Watch one of triathlon's biggest tests on a stunning course

St. George, Utah, will host the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship this September. Before then, triathletes will have a chance to race the course this Saturday at the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship, featuring some of the best triathletes in the world. 

Holly Lawrence, Rudy Von Berg, Skye Moench, Ben Kanute and Linsey Corbin will all be in action for Trek. Coming off a discombobulated 2020 season, many athletes are still in the process of finding their form. St. George will give everyone an important early season benchmark to build off as they tailor their training towards September.

Holly Lawrence is all set for her first race of 2021.

Ben Kanute got bronze in Miami and silver in Galveston, both in thrilling fashion.

It’ll be particularly revealing for Lawrence and Corbin, who are coming off long racing layoffs. Lawrence, who won the last Ironman 70.3 race at St. George in 2019, hasn’t taken a start line since finishing fourth at Challenge Daytona last December. The former world champion’s last win was at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel in September. For Corbin, it has been 19 months since she last had to pack her race gear. Watching the former American record holder in action again will be a thrill.

Von Berg, Kanute and Moench have already turned in strong results during the 2021 season. In a thrilling opener at Challenge Miami in March, Kanute held on for third while Von Berg finished fifth just 35 seconds behind. Moench took fifth in a tight women’s race, then went on to win Ironman 70.3 Texas with a come-from-behind bike into a STIFF headwind. At that same race, Kanute took silver in a sprint finish.

Skye Moench scored one of the most impressive wins of the season when she came back into a stiff headwind in Texas.

Rudy Von Berg finished fifth at Challenge Daytona AND Challenge Miami.

St. George is the perfect stage for fireworks

The St. George course is split into the traditional Ironman 70.3 segments of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. 

As an added challenge, competitors will have to contend with significant elevation gain. The bike course profile features 3,162 feet of climbing, a large portion of which will come on an approximately six-mile ascent up gradually steepening gradient within the final 10 miles. Legs will be good and tired before the run, which adds another 1,267 feet of elevation gain (though, somewhat mercifully, the last two miles are mostly downhill).

Set against a red rock backdrop, St. George has the makings of a classic. To watch, head over to the Ironman Now Facebook page. There will be a live stream of the race beginning at 6 a.m. Mountain Time, 8 a.m. Eastern, on Saturday.