St. George 70.3 was a beautiful course, but the day was not for me.
When I signed up for St. George 70.3 in December 2020, there was still a lot of uncertainty in racing. But...I needed the motivation and a reason to visit Zion National Park. Leading up to race day, I felt really good - except about the weather forcast. It was supposed to be 90*F, and it did not disappoint.
The swim was at Sand Hollow State Park, and it was lovely. The water was a balmy 61*F, so I pulled on my B70 Helix, my booties, and my thermal hood. I'd been swimming open water all winter in Seattle, so this was the warmest water I'd seen since fall. Despite the rolling start, the swim felt crowded and I took my first elbow to the face. Once I settled in, I swam well and came in at 40:59 (watch time).
The bike started off great. My plan for this race was to go a little slower on the bike to save something for the run, and I was executing well. Mile ~40 brought a flat tire to my life, which took me a solid 15 minutes to replace. Shout out to the race cource bike tech who helped out at the end and literally gave me a push to get back on course. Then came Snow Canyon, with the AMAZING views and something like a 1,000 foot climb in 5 miles. Came in at 4:09:37 (watch time), which would have been right on track if I hadn't gotten that flat.
Then things took a turn for the worse. It was hot (car said 93*F after the race), sunny (read: solid sunburn), and included 1,259 feet of elevation gain (according to my watch). It was all I could do to yog (not even a jog) the first 3 miles, then it was a "walk the hills" sort of day. I'm thankful for the encouragement from fellow runners and volunteers along the way - that's part of why I love this sport. Came in at 3:37:09 (watch time) for an overall time of 8:41:37 (official time).
While May 1st, 2021 was not my best race day, it sure was nice to be back to racing. St. George 70.3 is a tough course, but the scenery is totally worth it!