This past weekend I had the opportunity to participate in the St. George Triathlon. As I was planning my race season I knew I needed an open water race before Boise 70.3 in June. After discussing things over with my coaches it was decided this would be a good race to do 3 weeks before Boise.
I made plans with good friend and teammate, Laura, to go down with our families and make a fun weekend of it which is always fun! St. George is a great place to bring the family. I also knew several friends who were doing this race as well and I looked forward to seeing so many people out on the course. I made my strategy for the race with the coaches and learned a little more strategy on my ride down in terms of the course.
We arrived to Sand Hollow Friday afternoon to find some wind. Heath, Laura, Carlee, and I put in a 700 swim and I remembered how much I loved swimming in this lake. If only Utah Lake could be half as clear! Packet pick up was in town and ran very smoothly. Laura and I had the traditional Cafe Rio dinner and went to the condo to ensure we had everything set out. Race morning would come early! Because of park rules, be aware you'll have to park at the entrance but it's just a super short ride to transition.
The conditions for this race were downright PERFECT! No wind, good temperatures, and good competition; my favorite! This race brings in so many people! We got to the race early and got a good spot in transition. I really focused on what my race was going to look like. There were so many friends to talk with that it made pre-race a lot of fun and I wasn't full of stress and worry.
The water temperature was perfect. I really wanted to put together a good swim as it was my weakness. I really liked the one-loop swim for the Olympic distance. I felt great in the swim and felt like I was moving a good pace. I spotted well and came out several minutes faster then last year; good motivation rolling into the bike.
I nailed the bike right where I wanted to and came off feeling good. The course was great; nice smooth roads. Now it was time to conquer the past run experiences on this course and put together something good. As I ran out of transition I heard friends shout some words of encouragement. I just really focused on what I had heard as I ran out of transition from them and kept a smile on my face. The volunteers and support on the run course were incredible. The turn around came quickly and at that time I knew I was going to put together a good run and push it to the end. It was so great high-fiving friends, and shouting words of encouragement as I was out on the run. I was really enjoying myself!
As I ran up the hill to the finish line I knew I had given it all I had that day and gave myself 5 seconds to walk before finishing that last hill and ran to the finish. I finished much faster then in previous years and received 3rd overall and winner of age group! One valuable lesson I learned- walking for just 5 seconds can cost you 2nd overall. There was only .5 seconds between me and the 2nd place finisher.
I love a race with good competition, friendly teammates, and great weather. This was one of the funnest races I have done and I continue to learn so much in the race of triathlon. The food at the finish was fantastic; chips, salsa, chicken burritos and all the ice cold water you could ask for. Thanks to BBSC for putting on one of my favorite races!
On days like this one it is hard not to want to race in Southern Utah. The weather was perfect the way every triathlon should be– I almost felt a little guilty for having such nice weather. The thing I love about this tri is the community. Members of the local tri club are always racing in the event, supporting participants, or volunteering. Not to mention, most triathlons don't normally get the amount of spectators as the St. George Tri does. Hopefully that will change in the future. In the St. George Tri you get everyone from Pro's to first timers and even Kids. This year, I had a 13 year old in my wave– now that's inspiring. I always appreciate the way that they take our safety very seriously. They counted us before we got in the water, the was ample water support for the swim portion, and there were pointers at every turn during the bike and run. Sand Hollow state park staff is always welcoming and helpful. This is one of my favorite local races and the St. George tri & Kokopelli are a must do for my tri season.