Skip to content
Greater Zion logo

Visitor Information Center

The Greater Zion Visitor Center is a must for anyone interested in exploring the natural wonders of southwest Utah.

Privacy Policy Cookie Policy

IRONMAN Mural Captures Pro Cyclist T.J. Eisenhart’s Passion for Athletics and the Beauty of the Land of Endurance

According to Utah native and professional cyclist T.J. Eisenhart, “when it comes to art, you can say so much.” And his mural, “Land of Endurance”, speaks volumes about Greater Zion and the signature events that take place here.

Eisenhart’s mural commemorates the competitive spirit of Greater Zion, its athletes, and the beauty of the Land of Endurance®. Located in downtown St. George, you can admire the installation on the south side of the building at 61 North Main Street. As an added bonus, the mural can be seen from the official IRONMAN race route, allowing athletes to absorb the inspiration during the race … and/or recovery

“I’ve raced as a world champion; I know the pressure and the energy that athletes put into their sport,” said Eisenhart, who is both a world-class artist and professional cyclist. “I wanted to capture that spirit along with the beauty of the area, which inspires me during every ride.” 

The mural features geometric shapes, bright colors, and scenes that represent the swimming, biking, and running events found in triathlons. The mural also captures the stunning views found throughout Greater Zion, paired with sunset visuals similar to what participants encounter during the run portion of the competition. 

“Events like IRONMAN bring passion and energy into our communities, and T.J.’s mural does an excellent job of capturing both of those elements,” said Brittany McMichael, director of the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office. 

The mural was originally finished just ahead of the 2021 IRONMAN World Championship, which was contested in May 2022. The event marked the first time the championship was contested outside of Hawaii. And the mural welcomed the world, serving as the backdrop for the Parade of Athletes and visible from the race course.

“When our office originally commissioned this artwork, we did so with the intention of preserving that uplifting feeling that accompanies IRONMAN races. The fusion of art and athletics T.J. created is powerful, and we are so glad to see ‘Land of Endurance’ continuing to serve as inspiration to create and compete fearlessly.”

City of St. George deputy director of arts and events Michelle Graves first discovered T.J.’s work when she saw his painting of Justin Williams, a successful Belizean-American cyclist. The painting depicts the victorious 32-year-old Williams as he crosses the finish line, filled with excitement and enthusiasm after his championship performance.

“One day, I saw a bright and dynamic painting he created of a cyclist and thought ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to have a triathlon mural on the wall on Main Street that the world-class IRONMAN athletes could enjoy as they came into the finish line,’” said Graves. 

With the details worked out and the masterpiece complete, Graves is proud to see her vision realized. 

“Having this IRONMAN mural painted by a professional, local athlete ties this piece to the event and encapsulates all that we love in St. George – arts, events, and outdoors,” added Graves. 

T.J. draws from the outdoors to create many of his pieces, and he finds much of the inspiration for his work while on his bike. 

“When I’m riding my bike, my mind is constantly thinking about art,” added T.J. “It’s like preparing for a race or a game. You have to have your mind ready and have your mind in the zone.” 

T.J. referenced one memorable ride up Kolob Terrace Road where he found his saving grace. The sun was setting and he was physically and mentally drained. However, he found his purpose while coasting down the road after his grueling workout. 

“Riding my bike had a purpose that day. I reconnected with the freedom that riding gives you – it’s not about winning; it’s about riding my bike for the freedom and love of my surroundings.”

Athletics have always been a part of T.J.’s life. He specifically recalls an encounter during a family trip to Europe that inspired a life-long love for cycling. 

“I was 8 years old when we saw a stage of the Tour de France go through the Pyrenees. I got hooked! And, realized that I wanted to do something with bikes.” 

While T.J. started winning races and excelling in his sport, his family bought a house in St. George. At age 16, he would attend high school in Lehi, Utah, and then drive to St. George and stay in his family’s home to train over the weekends. He graduated from high school early and moved to St. George full-time to train. Between winters in Greater Zion and summers in Europe, T.J. was on a year-round training plan, determined to succeed. 

However, there was still one thing that was missing in T.J.’s life: his love for art. 

“Art was there before athletics,” added T.J. “When I was getting burned out and realized my life wasn’t balanced (when I was training so much), my mom suggested I take some art classes. I took some basic classes and got back in touch with my passion.” 

As a result of  T.J.’s athletic and creative prowess, he has been dubbed “Utah’s most colorful pro cyclist.” When asked what this means to him, he laughs, “you are probably right! It’s taken me a while to get to that place. Through art, I’ve found my confidence to be my original self.”

When asked what he wants people to take from the mural, T.J. smiles and said, “a flutter of emotion once you first look at it. I want it to take you by surprise with the excitement of the colors and the massive subject matters (athletes swimming, biking and running). I want it to inspire you, ignite some creativity and passion. It’s like a pebble in water that ripples and makes you smile later.” 

T.J.’s other artwork is occasionally displayed in local art galleries, so stop by and check them out if you get the chance. Expect the same bold color on a smaller scale.

Learn more about the 2024 Intermountain Health IRONMAN® North American Championship and read other inspirational stories on our Greater Zion IRONMAN blog.