Top competitors gather before Saturday’s Ironman 70.3

The professional field of Ironman 70.3 St. George participate in a panel discussion, St. George, Utah, May 1, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Professional athletes from all over the world gathered Thursday evening at the Ironman Village in the St. George Town Square Park at 50 South Main, in preparation for Saturday’s Ironman 70.3 St. George.

The field will feature nearly 100 professional athletes, some familiar to Southern Utahns enjoying the Ironman competition for its fifth year in St. George. Among them are defending champions Meredith Kessler of the United States and Brent McMahon of Canada.

Canadian Heather Wurtele is another familiar face and fan favorite. Not only is she a two-time Ironman St. George champion, but she has lived and trained in St. George since 2010.

It has everything you need,” Wurtele said.

Wurtele loves the small town experience. She frequently trains in the streets of St. George and at the Washington City Community Center.

She enjoys the Ironman 70.3 St. George because of the great volunteer crew and support.

“It has a really special vibe, and the community gets into it,” she said.

Although German native and 2008 Olympic gold medalist, Jan Frodeno, is well known in the sport, this is his first time competing in St. George.

That’s the great thing about being a professional triathlete,” Frodeno said, “the event brings us to the area.”

Frodeno’s first impression of St. George was the Southern Utah backdrop.

“I’ve raced around Vegas before which is fairly close but I felt it was nothing like this,” Frodeno said, “I felt this is way more spectacular.”

St. George News Reporter Hollie Reina contributed to this report.

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