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St. George 70.3 Race Report - Part 2

And we were off...

I confidently had positioned myself at the front of the swimmers in my wave (red caps women 40-44 AG).  Not near the front, AT the front of the group.  Unlike a lot of triathletes, the swim is the only part of the day were I can confidently head out knowing my ability.  I spend most of the bike and run being passed but at least I have the swim.

The water was calm and cold.  Because I had been in the water twice, I knew what to expect.  I felt that it was cold but didn't effect me of during the race.  The flat water made fro easy sighting.  I took a line passing closely on the left side of each buoy.  There was no one to draft for most of the race and I quickly started passing athletes from the waves in front of me.  At no time was the swim crowded and I felt in control.  When I mad the last turn heading for the beach, the swim seemed long to me.  I was not tired but it felt like I had been out there a long time.  Probably because this is the longest race I have done this year.  The skies were clear and the sun was shining but I don't remember having an issue with the sun in my eyes.  

I chose not to wear my watch on the swim and used my Garmin 310XT for the bike and run portions only.  I came out of the water feeling good.  My feet were numb from the cold water but the rest of me was fine.  I was able to get the top of my wetsuit off and pulled it down to my waist as I headed for the wetsuit strippers.  One strong lady, quickly had my suit off and I headed up to my bike.  The whole path from the water, up the boat launch to T1 was covered with carpet which made the run more comfortable.  I would guess it was about 200m from the water to my bike.  

T1 is a bit a of blur.  Sock, sock, shoe, shoe, glasses, gloves, helmet on.  Wetsuit, cap and goggles in the T1 bag for transport to the finish.  I did not want to lose my brand new wetsuit after its first race.  Stuffed 2 Gu Roctaine Gels in each of my side pockets and grabbed my bike for the run out.  I was at the start of the bike lot so there was about 200m of running with my bike before the mount line.  Just as I was exiting T1, volunteers with sunscreen lathered my shoulders and arms.  Yay!  No sunburn.  

The first part of the bike is out and round the back of Sand Hollow.  I wish I had remembered to look at the reservoir and see the swimmers still down there, but I didn't.  There is a climb within the first 5kms of the bike and I was focused on that instead.  

The funny thing about the bike is that I was very nervous about a number of the climbs when I drove it the Thursday before the race.  Once I was out riding it, most of those hills were very manageable.  Nothing steeper than I had climbed before.  Yes the course was hilly and I wish I had ridden it before race day, but I was feeling good.  The descents were steep and I am not a speed demon so I didn't make up much time there.  Ideally, this course is great for athletes who love to climb and then descend fast.  

Before I knew it, I had climbed one of the hills I was most concerned about and still felt good.  The last 20kms of the course travels up through Snow Canyon then back down into town on a long descent.  This was by far the toughest climb.  Short steep sections but in the most beautiful area.  Athletes started to unclip from their bikes and walk them in a last few metres of the steepest climb.  I did not need to do that, I rode the whole way.  Not fast, but I stayed on my bike.  

The community support for this event is fantastic.  There were people cheering and volunteering along the whole bike course.  For the Snow Canyon climb, the aid station volunteers had placed funny motivational signs every couple of 100 metres.  I cannot recall what any of them said but I can tell you there were awesome.  Some were funny, others were silly, and others were true inspiration.

Tim's plan was to stay at T2 and just see me on the bike to run section.  He surprised me and was 3 different places on the bike.  I can't tell you where but I saw him and it was a wonderful surprise.

In the later part of the ride, the bike and run routes are in the same place.  When I came to this section, the pro men and women were already more than 1/2 way through the run.  It was awesome to see them  at this point in the race.  This is also where I realized I was climbing on my bike and the pro man running on the other side of the road was going as fast as I was.  That is one fast runner, and one slow cyclist.  This is also where I realized that I had not given much thought to the run course.  I knew it was hilly but I didn't realize just how much of a climb it was.  As much as I was ready to get off my bike, I was not wanting to run either.  

Down into T2, I found my rack space easily (Row 14).  Rack bike, shoes off, helmet off, gloves off, running shoes on, visor on and go.  Again, volunteers were at the transition exit with sunscreen.  Thank you!

The run course is an out and back with a few twists and turns through a trail system.  What started out as a run out of town became a brisk power walk within the first 2kms.  I saw other athletes walking and I didn't feel so bad.  Mostly I power walked the up hill and ran the down hill.  My fastest run split is actually in the last 5kms which is 100% down hill.  Thank you again to the aid station volunteers who handed me cola, Ironman Perform, water, ice, sponges, and pretzels.   During the run I had to remind myself 'this is only a triathlon, you don't need to get so upset'  I had started to cry a few times on the run.  This is something I have never done.  

The finishing shoot of this race is long and fantastic.  Lined with spectators and volunteers, you can't help but feel like a pro.  When Tim met me at the finish line, I started to cry.  Again, something I have never done.  He was shocked and asked what was wrong.  He knew how though the course was and was proud of me doing the race.  'That was really hard' was all I could manage to say between the tears.  

So yes, this race is really hard.  However, it is just as beautiful as Hawaii without the humidity.  It is certainly a destination race I would highly recommend and do again.  Next time I will know the course better and conquer it!

Below is a summary of my stats for the day.  Very happy with the results.  

Happy Training and Racing!


Rank: 58
Overall Rank: 1534
State:Richmond BC


Swim Details Division Rank: 7
Split NameDistanceSplit TimeRace TimePaceDiv. RankOverall RankGender Rank
Total1.2 mi33:4833:481:45/100m737079
Bike Details Division Rank: 46
Split NameDistanceSplit TimeRace TimePaceDiv. RankOverall RankGender Rank
22.5 mi22.5 mi1:23:022:01:4916.26 mi/h
44.7 mi22.2 mi1:39:083:40:5713.44 mi/h
56 mi11.3 mi32:454:13:4220.70 mi/h
Total56 mi3:34:554:13:4215.63 mi/h461522312
Run Details Division Rank: 58
Split NameDistanceSplit TimeRace TimePaceDiv. RankOverall RankGender Rank
3 mi3 mi37:364:55:5712:32/mi
5.8 mi2.8 mi37:055:33:0213:14/mi
9.6 mi3.8 mi45:256:18:2711:57/mi
13.1 mi3.5 mi38:076:56:3410:53/mi
Total13.1 mi2:38:136:56:3412:04/mi581534343


sexuences said…
Great adventure and very good swim time ... the other probably depends on the hilly course Well done Erin ... :)
Awesome race Erin. Very great swim and wow, what a tough course. You rock!!!

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