Jeremy Diguer: IRONMAN and Greater Zion Aficionado 

Jeremy Diguer is an accomplished French triathlete. He has taken advantage of several opportunities to compete in IRONMAN races around the globe, immersing himself in many of the great wonders of the world. But by his account, nowhere else on Earth compares to the majesty that is Greater Zion.

“St. George is a dream for me,” Diguer said. 

Background

Before his IRONMAN days began, Diguer grew up in France, catching glimpses of the United States through the media. Displays of the landscapes, nature, and unique geology in Utah always drew his eye. 

When he was presented the opportunity to race in Greater Zion, Diguer was eager to participate and share his experiences competing and exploring with his dear friend, Thomas Maillard.

Maillard and Diguer share a fascination with Greater Zion and a passion for IRONMAN competition, but Maillard’s abilities are limited since he is wheelchair-bound. That is where Diguer steps in. 

“I want people to know they can pursue their dreams no matter their circumstances,” Diguer said.

Screenshot

You might recognize the duo from previous IRONMAN competitions. For the entirety of his race, Diguer competes in tandem with Thomas. This is no small feat since the race includes swimming, biking, and running portions. That doesn’t stop Diguer from sharing the competitive experience with his friend, though.

During the swim portion of the race, Diguer pulls Maillard along on a raft. During the bike, Diguer pulls a trailer in which Maillard sits. And for the final run portion of the race, Diguer pushes Maillard in his wheelchair. At the finish line, Diguer switches places with Maillard, who completes the final steps of the race, demonstrating that those with disabilities are capable of achieving great feats. 

Witnessing these two work together is even more inspiring than the reverent landscapes surrounding them, and it is a true testament to the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity. The uplifting feelings are only amplified by the crowd, volunteers, and community members. 

“Greater Zion is one of the only places I have raced where there are people along the entire course,” Diguer recalls. “There is cheering and celebration no matter where you are in the race.”

Looking ahead

processed 7D9C8A65 C136 4850 B159 0429EBD23109

This year, Maillard will remain in France as Diguer competes in the Intermountain Health IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship St. George, but he will still be actively engaging with the race. Maillard will be monitoring Diguer’s social media on race day, May 4, and viewers can also tune in to watch the race via live stream. If you’re trying to spot Diguer, he won’t be hard to miss thanks to his towering height and French uniform prominently displaying his last name. 

While Diguer will miss Maillard’s companionship and encouragement as he competes, he looks forward to racing in Greater Zion again, one of his favorite locations. In addition to its beauty, this IRONMAN 70.3 race is renowned for being one of the most difficult courses. 

“The elevation can be challenging,” Diguer said. “The dryness too – but the bike portion is very fast,” he said. “And of course, I love the sunshine.”

Diguer is hoping the typically dry weather will create ideal racing conditions and increase his odds of checking an iconic hike off of his bucket list: The Narrows in Zion National Park, which often closes seasonally due to high river levels. Beyond the park, he plans to explore the bike trails in Snow Canyon, the water sports at Sand Hollow, the restaurant scene in Springdale, and various other activities throughout Greater Zion. Even after an intense competition, Diguer prioritizes taking the time to experience the magical active offerings in our area as he recovers

As Diguer races through the twists and turns of the course, the inspiration he and his fellow competitors create will echo off the canyon walls. That inspiration will be felt across the world as spectators witness such amazing achievements and athletes carry the experience of Greater Zion in their hearts for years to come.