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WATCH LIVE: Ironman World Championships Utah

Ironman Utah

ST GEORGE, UT - MAY 05: General aerial view of Age Group Triathletes in the transition area at the Sand Hallow State Park during the IRONMAN 70.3 St George Utah on May 5, 2018 in St George, Utah. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

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The first Ironman World Championships to be held outside of Hawaii air live from St. George, Utah, on Peacock on Saturday from 8 a.m. ET through the elite race finishes.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last September, organizers announced that St. George would replace Kailua-Kona as host for one edition only.

“The ongoing uncertainty regarding Kailua-Kona, Hawaii`s ability to host the event in February required a change in venue to outside of Hawaii,” organizers said in September.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman World Championships, Saturday, 8 a.m. ET -- STREAM LINK

The St. George event is branded as the 2021 Ironman World Championships, and then Kailua-Kona hosts the 2022 edition in its usual October window, with a new two-day race format on Oct. 6 and Oct. 8.

St. George was chosen in part because it hosted Ironman events before, including the 70.3 World Championships (Half Ironman) last September.

The full Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

This year’s women’s race includes reigning 2019 World champion Anne Haug of Germany and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who won four in a row from 2015-18.

Six of the most accomplished men are absent: three-time world champion Jan Frodeno (Achilles), two-time world champion Patrick Lange (shoulder), two-time half Ironman world champion Javier Gomez (Covid) and, on Friday, a double whammy: reigning half Ironman world champion Gustav Iden reportedly bowed out with an illness, as did two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee.

Norwegian Kristian Blummenfelt, who last year won the Tokyo Olympics and then debuted at the Ironman distance with the fastest time in history, makes his world championships debut after overcoming an illness.

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