Championship Stops in Greater Zion
See how and where IRONMAN athletes embrace their time away from the race and explore the place
When visiting a destination as beautiful and dynamic as Greater Zion you take every opportunity to get out and explore. But don’t just take our word for it! This spring, Greater Zion hosted the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship, welcoming thousands of competitors and spectators from around the globe. The athletes and fans showed up for a lot more than race day though! What exactly are you up for when you already have a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run planned? Turns out, a lot!
Exploring Greater Zion’s State Parks
The IRONMAN course takes athletes through large portions of Greater Zion including Snow Canyon State Park and Sand Hollow State Park. On race day, most athletes are a bit more focused on pushing through to the finish line versus enjoying the view though. No surprise that athletes like Lloyd Henry opted to visit the petrified dunes and slot canyons of Snow Canyon State Park on a non-race day to better appreciate the views. While others, like Vanessa Murray, decided to enjoy the refreshing water, sandy beaches and dramatic red rocks of Sand Hollow State Park on a day when they weren’t in quite such a rush.
The views in Greater Zion are unbeatable, but it’s not all about the dramatic red rocks cliffs and canyons. IRONMAN athletes also enjoyed the amazing outdoor art throughout the area. Downtown St. George is home to more than 30 original sculptures and 3D works of art through the Art Around the Corner program so you’ll be able to find one that speaks to you. During the race, the IRONMAN M-Dot statute, located at the roundabout at Tabernacle and Main Streets, was a popular stop. The area’s many murals also provided picture-perfect backdrops.
Discover Zion National Park
The IRONMAN course showcased the beauty of Greater Zion, but one location athletes don’t visit on the course is Zion National Park. Many athletes like Dr. Tommy Martin, made the most of their time in Southwest Utah by exploring the national park with family before and after the race. The park’s incredible scenery offered inspiration and adventure for the racers beyond the course.
The IRONMAN athletes didn’t just come for the fun and games, they also showed up for the outstanding dining in Greater Zion. Located along the course and close to the finish line, Farmstead kept competitors and fans fueled up with savory sandwiches and gourmet sweet treats. Another downtown favorite, Station II Bar, was the perfect place for spectators to post up to enjoy the race and a brew. FeelLove Coffee also helped keep the crowd fueled with caffeinated drinks. Veyo Pies, also along the race route, pulled in droves for their famous pies.
Rest and Relax
Take it from IRONMAN world champion, Kristian Blummenfelt, Greater Zion is a perfect place to push your limits because we have plenty of space for recovery afterwards. Hit the hot tub, like Kristian, to get yourself back on track and ready to tackle your next adventure. Or dial it in like athlete Jocelyn McCauley and kick back on the rooftop at The Advenire for a little R&R.
With more than 2,400 square miles of adventure calling, we’re sure that you’ll find a championship stop of your own in Greater Zion. We can’t wait to see what you discover! If you’re posting to Instagram, make sure to tag @GreaterZionUtah with the hashtag #GreaterZion.