ST. GEORGE — Utah served as a host to the world Saturday, as Ironman returned to Southern Utah for the seventh straight year. Nearly 2,700 athletes from 46 states and 24 countries competed in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 North American Pro Championship St. George triathlon.
"This event and the people who make it happen never stop inspiring me," said Kevin Lewis, Director of the St. George Area Sports Commission. "The athletes are incredible, the support is tremendous, and like we saw today Mother Nature loves to play her part in the show. The rainy weather, cooler temperatures and tricky conditions just seemed to elevate the enthusiasm and determination of the volunteers and athletes. It is truly amazing what people will do to really make this special."
Utah residents fared well in this event, as Ali Black took 10th place among all female age-group athletes and first in the F40-44, finishing in 5:07:45. Andrew Hall of Salt Lake City was the ninth-place male overall among age-group athletes and third in his M30-34, finishing with a time of 4:28:53.
Among Washington County residents with the fastest finish times, Stephen Dorman of Washington finished at 5:08:43. On the female side, Megan Andersen of Ivins had the best time: 5:44:22.
Skye Moench of Holladay finished at 4:43:16, taking 10th place among female professionals.
The men's overall winner, Lionel Sanders, continues a torrid win streak. The Canadian clocked in with a finish of 3:48:18 to capture his fourth consecutive win at an Ironman 70.3 race.
The women's overall winner is no stranger to folks in Utah. Heather Wurtele, who is originally from Canada but lives and trains in St. George, finished at 4:16:48. It was her third consecutive race win on the Ironman 70.3 circuit, and fourth victory in St. George.
"I think we can all agree there is something special about this race in St. George," said Wurtele. "The volunteer support is incredible and the spectator support makes the vibe here incredible."
Top 5 Utah men
1. Andrew Hall, Salt Lake City, 4:28:53
2. B.J. Christenson, Farmington, 4:35:04
3. David Ference, Salt Lake City, 4:36:08
4. Rory Duckworth, Draper, 4:41:09
5. Aaron Jordin, Sandy, 4:42:30
Top 5 Utah women
1. Ali Black, Salt Lake City, 5:07:45
2. Kathryn Throolin, Sandy, 5:11:16
3. Liis Rametta, Park City, 5:27:56
4. Sue Pope, Sandy, 5:29:00
5. Nicole McConkie, Morgan, 5:31:20