Last year, after the Vancouver Subaru 1/2 Iron, I stated "it's hard to say which race is the hardest race I've ever done." Well, I am 95% sure that I am confident to state that this was BY FAR the hardest race I have ever done. And, im glad that I have waited a week to write this report. It takes a while to digest races like St George.
As my newest Vancouver Triathlete friend, Erin, stated, when Ironman made this race the US pro championships, registration SOARED. I barely got registered, as on Facebook, it stated that there were only 5 slots left. So, as planned, back in feb, I was registered. It would be my first race in the (what I perceive as) super crazy fast new agegroup: females 30-34. I counted the other registrants in my AG... 140. WHAT THE?!?! really? This kinda made me nervous. And, when I saw that the super inspirational Sonja W was going to be racing, i knew... I knew it would be a competitive day.
here we go:
mistake #1: flying the day before the race. I flew from Bellingham, on alaska Airlines. Honestly, this all went perfectly. The anxiety came with the fact that I had about 5 hours to get my bike, rental car, meet my mum at the Vegas airport, and drive to St George to register and check my bike. One day also does not give enough time to adjust to heat in the desert, an elevation gain of 1000m, and an hour time difference. I was SO stressed out, and could not relax the day prior to the race. That night was not very restful.
that being said, i got the bike checked in 10 minutes before close, was able to drive 1/2 the bike course, have a great dinner, and was there. I made it. Southern Utah is BEAUTIFUL... The town of St George is welcoming, and a perfect size for a race. the area around town has more activities than you can possibly do in a 4 day trip.
Race morning was normal. beautiful morning. A B&B 4 blocks from T2/finish, meaning I could walk to the race shuttles, who gave us packed morning breakfasts. no wind, perfect weather. LOTS OF BIKES! It took a while to go to the toilet, but i did. less than 10mins prior to my start time. Yikes.
I placed myself close to the front of swarm of 30-34 year old women. and i looked around. Man. are they fit. They look awesome. We waded into the water for the floating start, and it was cold. somewhat expecting this, I gave positive self talk, and dunked my head a few times, tried to get some water into the wetsuit, and told myself to chill out. Don't go out too fast, or else you will have a hard time breathing.
race mistake #2: no open water/cold swims prior to race day.
it was a good swim. Not *amazing,* but good. the start was interesting as one woman turned around and said "hey! what is everyone doing, pushing up here? if you are going to swim sub-30, you should be here..." I knew I would be 32ish. One thing that I was really happy with was how straight I went. Garmin says the swim was a bit long.
The beginning of the swim took a while to get going, but i was super happy with the clenliness and clam state of the water... but, I definitely had a few moments of breathlessness. so, it was just a race of keeping consistant. try to keep the arms going at a reasonable pace, sight properly, and don't get stuck up behind people. While I was swimming, I thought there were maybe 6 or so women in bright green caps ahead of me. I could see a lot of them during the swim. I was kinda bummed when I found out that my result was 16th in AG, at the end of the race.
|Split Name||Distance||Split Time||Race Time||Pace||Div. Rank||Overall Rank||Gender Rank|
T1: I ran out of the swim, happy. this was the first and last time that I saw my mum during the race, cheering for me. I was happy to be there, nice to have wetsuit strippers, helped out another guy who couldnt find his zipper, and got on the way. Everything had to be stuffed into a bag, with nothing on your bike. It's kinda annoying to get have to get that rubber suit into a bag.
So FAR, so good. Getting on that bike, I was happy.