IRONMAN M-Dot Sculpture Reaches the Finish Line

This year, IRONMAN competitors in St. George, Utah, will have more than cheering fans waiting for them at the finish line. An M-dot sculpture crafted by Rick Prazen and his son, Josh, will greet them in a roundabout near the end of the race.

AWS Publications | April 6, 2021 | Processes
Welding Digest ►  IRONMAN M-Dot Sculpture Reaches the Finish Line

This year, IRONMAN competitors in St. George, Utah, will have more than cheering fans waiting for them at the finish line. An M-dot sculpture crafted by Rick Prazen and his son, Josh, will greet them in a roundabout near the end of the race.

Previous coverage on Prazen’s work on the sculpture can be read here. Since that posting, the piece has been finished and installed — Fig. 1.

Fig 1 IMG_1893Fig. 1 — The completed IRONMAN M-dot sculpture installed in a roundabout in St. George, Utah.

 

The sculpture is a testament to the endurance of the athletes and the city of St. George, which had to cancel its 2020 race because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the city’s annual race is back on track, with the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Pro Championship in May plus its first World Championship in September.

The Prazens were commissioned by the city of St. George and the Greater Zion Convention & Tourism Office to build the sculpture, which is a take on the M-dot in the IRONMAN logo. The 13-ft-tall cube features two-dimensional stainless steel silhouettes of a runner, swimmer, and cyclist laid over a rusted mountain terrain on each side. The IRONMAN’s M is incorporated in the background of each panel, and a large metal sphere sits on top of the cube, representing the dot in the logo. The fourth side is set to bear the World Competition logo — Fig. 2.

Fig. 2 MDot 23Fig. 2 — The fourth wall of the M-dot sculpture will hold the IRONMAN World Competition logo.

 

While the majority of the work on the sculpture was done by the Prazen family, they recruited Canada-based AMS Industries to fabricate the sphere — Fig. 3. The company used a metal-spinning lathe to spin the ball out of ¼-in stainless steel.

Fig. 3 MDot 13Fig. 3 — The stainless steel sphere before its installation on top of the sculpture.

 

According to Rick, the most challenging part of the project was finding a shop equipped to build out the sculpture. Kitco Iron Inc, West Jordan, Utah, provided the Prazens with a space large enough to complete the piece as well as a forklift and reach truck.

“I must say that every aspect had its challenges, from design, to engineering, perspective, depth, coloring, and installation,” said Rick.

Despite the difficulties, the Prazens were rewarded with fanfare of their own at the project’s finish line.

“The most rewarding thing about this was when we installed it, people cheered and applauded us,” Rick shared. “They were so excited to have a monument like this created as a tribute to the athletes who can accomplish this very difficult race.”

The M-dot sculpture will be on display in the roundabout throughout 2021, and then moved to a permanent location. To learn more about the sculpture, watch this YouTube video

 

This article was written by Alexandra Quiñones (associate editor of the Welding Journal) for the American Welding Society.