General Discussion Race Reports! » St. George Triathlon Rss Feed  
Moderators: k9car363, alicefoeller Reply

St. George Triathlon - TriathlonOlympic

View Member's Race Log
St. George, UT
United States
65F / 18C
Total Time = 2h 51m 37s
Overall Rank = 107/216
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 19/29
Pre-race routine:

Let me start by saying this race was awesome! It was my first tri and I thought I knew what to expect because of my time spent in training and in learning about our sport. But I was wrong. The race was way more emotional and fun than I thought it would be. It was also a lot lonelier than I thought it was going to be.

Karen and I left Josh at a friends’ for the weekend and drove down to St. George on Thursday night so I could get to the course and do some recon. I also wanted a couple of days to relax and really focus on the race. I wanted to give this race the most I could with the amount of effort I have put into my training.

The trip down was uneventful and we got in town Thursday night. We went to bed a little early and I slept great. I thought I would keep waking up to thing about the details of the race, but I really slept well. We got up and showered fairly early so we could catch breakfast at our favorite hole in the wall restaurant.

We went out to the reservoir to check the water temperature as everyone online had kept saying the water was at somewhere between 58 and 60 degrees. I have a great wetsuit, so I wasn’t that worried about the temp, so this was something more to help the nerves. I tried to envision the transition area and I went out to drive the bike course. The run course is on trails, so I decided to forego any walking or running on the trails.

We started to drive the bike course and I noticed a large gathering of vultures right next to the bike course. I laughed a little as that could be a good indication of my biking splits/abilities/talent. I knew St. George had a hill to climb a couple of miles into the bike, but we got the base of the hill and it looked tough. I train on hills, but this one was big. It is about an 8% grade and it goes for somewhere between 1.2 and 1.4 miles, depending on where you begin and end your measurements. I knew it was going to be a challenge and wow, was I right.

We drove back to town and went to registration, where I got my number, 666. I know there has to be one in every race and it really gave people a reason to talk with me. But dang, why did it have to be on my first race? The rest of the day we spent at the outlet malls and resting at the hotel. Transition bag was packed, nutrition planned and packed and everything double and triple checked.

Went to bed early that night – I am surprised how tired I was all the way through my taper. I tapered well and it showed on race day. But man was I up for naps anytime of the day. Friday night I slept alright, but I did have race night jitters and I kept getting up to pee because of the gallons of water and Gatorade I drank on Friday.

Event warmup:

I got up race morning, showed and lubed up everywhere. I threw on my Team Javelin uniform and dang does it look good! I love the colors because they are so easy for my wife to pick out of the crowd. I love the look and fit of the tri top and shorts. I am really surprised about the cut – I thought I was going to really hate it. Breakfast was 2 Quaker Instant Oatmeal packages, and Ensure, a 250 calorie bottle of Gatorade, 3 Enduralytes and a bottle of water.

We drove out to the race site and got there about two hours before the start. If you want a way to minimize the amount of stress from controllable variables, I recommend this 100%. My wife slept in the car for about an hour and then showed up to take some photos and cheer on her man. I think she really got a kick out of the race and the hoopla surrounding the event.

Got my transition area set up without any problems and met a buddy of mine that was racing as well. I got a great spot and stood and sat around for a little while to guard from anyone moving my gear around. They had plenty of bike racks at this race, so there was very little in the way of people fighting for space. At the appropriate time, I throw on the wetsuit and head down to the start. I swim a little just to get the blood flowing and the face acclimated to the temperature of the water which was 64 degrees on race morning (I think the RD was embellishing a little and it was more like 60). Body felt great and ready to race. I was ready to race and hit my goals. First goal was to finish and the secret goal was to go sub 3:00. I know, it really isn’t that fast and I will get faster, but that was a realistic goal that would challenge me.

Standing on the boat ramp getting ready for the start and I just felt great. I realized how cool it is for me to be able to race. At that moment I was thankful for my wife in putting up with my hobbies. But as the RD began giving instructions, I knew it was important for me to focus on my race and getting it done.

  • 27m 6s
  • 1500 meters
  • 01m 49s / 100 meters

This swim start was great. It was a deep water start with all the Olympic racers in the first wave. It was a two loop course for us and a one loop course for the sprinters. As the star sounded, I just started swimming. I didn’t concentrate on form or anything else. I think I really had a Zen like moment. I concentrated on sighting and making sure if I made contact I didn’t follow through so it would be less painful for the recipient. I got hit a couple of times, but it really didn’t take me out of my game.

In the pool, the fastest I have ever done 1500 m is 28:00 minutes. The wetsuit really helped my swimming times and I got out of the water feeling great. I was a little winded, but I think that was more nerves than anything else. Wife was sitting at the top of the boat ramp and got a great photo of me running up the ramp with my wetsuit pulled down. She ran around the course all day long taking great photos.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing -- felt great and thought I did well for my abilities.
Transition 1
  • 02m 27s

I really didn’t have practice sessions for transitions, but I visualized the entire process. I had the process down in my head and obviously, it worked alright. I didn’t have my shoes clipped in and this is something I would like to do in the rest of my races. I drank some water and took a quick hit from the gel flask and I was off.
What would you do differently?:

Learn to jump onto the bike on the run with shoes already clipped in. The amount of effort it requires may not be worth the 10 seconds it save though.
  • 1h 20m 31s
  • 25 miles
  • 18.63 mile/hr

No matter how much you ride, you always feel as if you didn’t ride enough after competing on this course. That hill was a killer. I thought it was going to be tough, but it was beyond my wildest dreams. This race had an off-road division and I was passed by a ton of people. Those freaks with triple rings really kicked my butt. I kept telling myself to race your race, slow is fast, but wow, I was not prepared for what so many people passing you will do to your confidence. I would like to say I caught them all, but that is not true. I did save my legs though and really cruised through the rest of the course. I did have to come back down that hill and I even hit 46.1 mph coming back. I quit pedaling at 42.0 mph so I am sure I could have hit 50.0 mph, but I was going fast enough. Next year one of my goals for this race is to hit 50.0 mph on that downhill. I did pass a billion mountain bikes on the way down.

The rest of the course was rollers and I tired to stick to my plan for the rest of the race. I kept leapfrogging with this one guy who had HUGE calves. He would drop me on the uphill and I would pass him on the flats and the downs. We ended up hitting T2 together.

I tried really hard to stick to my nutrition plan during the bike, but I kept forgetting to eat and drink. Nothing too bad, but every once in a while I would look down at my watch and I missed a nutrition session. That never happens in training, but I guess that is racing. I did finish my Hammer Gel flask for about 200 calories and drank my Gatorade, Cytomax and Gu2O mixture for another 150 calories and drank a bottle of water. I felt like I could have drunk and ate more when I hit T2, so for my next race I will. I had about another 150 calories that I could have taken in from my training experience.

Overall, the bike went fine. I had no mechanical issues and my Felt S22 performed like a dream. I did manage to get out of my shoes on the bike and ran barefoot through the transition area. If you can manage it, I totally recommend the effort.
What would you do differently?:

More hills in training.
Transition 2
  • 01m 38s

Uneventful. I did everything well and cruised right out.
What would you do differently?:

  • 58m 37s
  • 6.2 miles
  • 09m 27s  min/mile

I have done some great bricks leading up to this race and I thought I would be fine. It was really interesting running through the transition area as my legs were tired, but not fried. My bricks really carried me through the run.

This run was a true trail run. I have done my shared of trail running, but most people at this race had not, so they were unprepared. I felt bad for them as this was a new part of the course, so most people who had even done this race in the past were a little surprised. But, that is the nature of our sport – identify and adapt.

That being said, it was still a tough run. It was a two loop course that had plenty up and downs, so rather steep. There was a ton of sand on the course as this was Southern Utah. I am not sure if I was glad for the sand or not as it was gentle on the knees but tough on the calves.

I really started to get worn down at the beginning of the second loop. Most people were not talkative at this point and it got really lonely. My buddy that was there racing with me then came up on my back and yelled, “I caught the beast” on account of my race number being 666. We had a bet on this race and as he is a much faster runner (my stand alone marathon pr is 3:58 and his 3:25) I knew if I was going to beat him it would have to been in the water and on the bike. I knew I would have to put about 6:00 on him before we started the run or I had not chance. We started running together for about 2.0 miles and he really lifted my spirits. If he hadn’t come up right at the time he did, I would have been a lot closer to missing my sub 3:00 goal. Out of respect, I let him go with about 1.0 miles to go. HE deserved the win and cruised on to beat me by 1:30.

I came down a large sandy decline, turned a corner and there was the finishing chute. People were cheering and I saw my wife. I was so happy she had come with to share this experience with me. Before the race I had her write on my left triceps her name and the name of my son – my foundation and my strength.

I looked at my watch with about 50 yards to go and knew I had my goal of a sub 3:00. I was so happy to cross that line and finally become a Triathlete.

What would you do differently?:

Carry my own water at the beginning of the run. There really was not enough aid stations.
Post race
Warm down:

My recovery went well. I am sitting here the day after and I am not sore at all. I am tired, but not sore. I am going to take it a little easy the first couple of days this week, but my goal is to be back in full force on my training schedule by Thursday.

I am really pumped about my performance at this race. I am gearing up my training for a ½ IM in July and I think I am on my way to completing my goal there – a sub 6:00. Right now I am training about 10 hours a week and I am going to step that up to 15 hours. Almost all of that time will be spent in the saddle.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

1. I loved having my wife at this event. She is supportive and does not complain when I need to put in training time. I am really glad she made the effort to be there so she could catch the vision of why I train.

2. I need more time in the saddle. I averaged 100 mile weeks for the month of April, but that wasn’t enough. I have to gear up and improve that in a significant way to do well at my ½ IM.

3. I need a better system to remind myself to eat and drink. I knew I would feel a loss of energy on the run even before I started because I did not eat enough on the bike. Next time I will get it right.

4. Race your own race. I got a little down because of the triple ringers passing me on that massive hill, but the mph average I posted was within what I wanted. I could have done better, but what would have happened to me on the run then?

5. Technology is cool. I loved having my Garmin 201 and my HRM with me. I felt like I was always in touch with what was going on with my body

Event comments:

There were some issues with aid stations, but overall, this is a great race put on by some great people. I will definately be back in 2006 for this race.

Last updated: 2005-05-16 12:00 AM
00:27:06 | 1500 meters | 01m 49s / 100meters
Age Group: 8/29
Overall: 46/216
Performance: Good
Watch Time: 27:51.3 – Chip Time: 27:06.7 – 8/29 AG – 45/216 males – 1:48 m/100 m – 168 bpm Average
Suit: Yep -- Predator
Course: Two loop triangle. swimming counterclockwise
Start type: Wade Plus:
Water temp: 60F / 16C Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Below average
Waves: Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:27
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
01:20:31 | 25 miles | 18.63 mile/hr
Age Group: 20/29
Overall: 102/216
Performance: Average
Watch Time: 1:21:02 – Chip Time: 1:20:31 – 20/29 AG – 102/216 Males -- 18.63 mph Average – 158 bpm Average
Wind: Little
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Below average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Time: 01:38
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
00:58:37 | 06.2 miles | 09m 27s  min/mile
Age Group: 18/29
Overall: 107/216
Performance: Average
Watch Time: 58:37.5 – Chip Time: 1:00.47 – 18/29 AG – 107/216 Males – 9:45.3 min/mile – 159 bpm Average
Course: Two loop 3.1 mile trail run.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2005-05-16 12:15 PM

User image

South of SLC
Subject: St. George Triathlon

2005-05-16 1:02 PM
in reply to: #158313

User image

Littleton, CO
Subject: RE: St. George Triathlon

Mike - Excellent!

Great race and report - I feel like I was there.  I should've been there, but the flu and an injury kept me home!  Darn, it sounds like a cool course!  Would've been my first tri too.  Sounds like you really did well managing your race so that you could deal with the subjective stuff, like the sand on the run.  Hope my wife will come to my first race too! 

Hope to see you at another race!

2005-05-16 1:27 PM
in reply to: #158359

User image

South of SLC
Subject: RE: St. George Triathlon
You should sign up for the Echo tri in July. TriUtah puts on the race and I think they have all distances up to a 1/2 IM distance. Living in Littleton you should have zero issues with the hills! Let me know if you sign up for any Utah races -- I would love to sign up for something in the realm of a 1/2 IM distance in Colorado.

2005-05-18 12:46 PM
in reply to: #158313

User image

Subject: RE: St. George Triathlon

Nice report. It was fun to read.  Vultures, 666, 8% grade hill-what great memories for your first tri!  Really.  Those will be great stories to tell.

I am planning on being there next year.  Saratoga will be my first tri this year.  BTW, my Felt has a triple ring

Edited by lifesgreat 2005-05-18 12:47 PM
2005-05-18 5:12 PM
in reply to: #159572

User image

South of SLC
Subject: RE: St. George Triathlon
I have seriously considered getting a triple ring just for some of the races I do. I am not fast, but those hills really kill me sometimes. I am putting a ton more of hill work into my schedule after that race.

Good luck with Saratoga. Are you signed up for Echo or Jordanelle? I am doing the 1/2 IM for Echo this year and the Olympic at Jordanelle. I am really thinking about biting the bullet and signing up for the Silverman IM distance race in November in Nevada. We will see.

General Discussion-> Race Reports!
General Discussion Race Reports! » St. George Triathlon Rss Feed