Last month, the triathlon world descended upon St. George, Utah, for the first Ironman world championship event since 2019.
Top athletes arrived from over 80 countries to compete in a half-Ironman, also known as a 70.3 for the number of miles required: swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run a half marathon at 13.1 miles.
The race was competitive and local enthusiasm was electric. It was the type of event Andrew Messick, the chief executive of Ironman, had envisioned since the coronavirus pandemic essentially shut down his sport and threatened the Ironman brand.
“It’s been a very challenging 18 months for us,” Messick said.