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Ironman St. George - Utah - TriathlonFull Ironman

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St. George, Utah
United States
Total Time = 14h 54m 9s
Overall Rank = 1166/
Age Group = M30-34
Age Group Rank = 139/
Pre-race routine:

The weird thing about the week prior to the race is that the event was not on my mind all that much. We had the good fortune of Jen's family coming together from all over the country to support us and to spend time together. We spent the first part of the week exploring St. George and Zion, even doing a relatively difficult hike up to Angel's Landing in Zion. Part of me wanted to worry if this was too much to be doing during taper but what the hell it is not often we get the opportunity to visit places like that with great friends/family.

After handing my life savings over to the Ironman Expo we were geared up and ready to go. The amount of packing and gear for an Ironman event is truly atrocious we seemed to always be forgetting one little thing. I think we finally realized that we had what we needed and just stopped to relax and drop off all that gear on Friday.

The weather there is really like rolling dice, we were there 7 days and each day had different weather, hot, windy, cloudy, rainy, etc. So I tried to not focus on it and just take what the course would give me on race day. Eventually the idea is "Take what the course gives you" would become my mantra for this race and really help me succeed.
Event warmup:

Because T1 was outside of town we parked near the finish (practically next to the Ford in the finisher chute!) and dropped off our special needs back and boarded on the bus.

The one cool thing about getting bussed to the start of a race is you get the immediate shared experience of being with other athletes who are entrenched in the same predicament as you which leads to fun yet nervous conversation.

Got to the Transition and Elliot and Kevin found us so I had Elliot touch up my tattooed race number as most of it was on the sheets of the bed. Proceeded to gather up good race karma by pumping up what felt like 50 peoples tires and eventually donated my pump to the Ironman gods.

Only issue was the porta potty situation, in that there were not enough. If I would have stayed in line I don't think I would have made the start but Jen went off and found some other ones within the park with no line so we scrambled over there and got back just in time to see some family and slip on the wetsuit and hop in the water.

We were then herded into the slowly moving death march to the water. Apparently a lot of people were waiting on the shoreline but we wanted to get used to the water temp before the race so we hopped on in, the water felt awesome! Definitely chilly but we had swam in some pretty cold stuff before hand and I think we both knew at this point the swim was going to go well.

I got super pumped up when the crowd cheered for us, it was SO loud, I really felt like an athlete at that point. We spend a lot of the time in triathlons focused solely on ourselves but Ironman was more than that. Then they played Iron Man to further pump me up, I mean that is practically the robot national anthem. Before we knew it the gun went off and we were horizontal.
  • 1h 24m 55s
  • 3862 meters
  • 02m 12s / 100 meters

I finally feel like I put in the training time needed to complete the swim comfortably and it paid off here. I was comfortable in the water the whole time. My sighting was spot on, I even swam under a buoy so I was right on the buoy line for sure! The clear water really does make swimming more enjoyable as well because it is easier to pick up drafts as you can actually see other athletes so I was able to draft effectively as well. I wasn't super fast but the goal was to come out of the water fresh and under 1:30 so I accomplished both of those.
Transition 1
  • 12m 30s

Getting out of the water was great because of the fan support and seeing family. I made the awesome decision to try and twist my ankle by slipping on the timing mat, but it was all good. Wetsuit stripper was AWESOME, one yank and it was off.

Those change tents are just a mess of nastiness and I will leave it at that. I hit the bathroom before taking off on the bike. Oh and I really appreciate whoever decided it would be a good idea to put a garbage bag in my crank set that was helpful.
  • 7h 28m 15s
  • 112 miles
  • 14.99 mile/hr

The bike segment started out great for me, seeing as I got out of the water with a lot of other strong cyclists I was able to pace *cough*maybe slight draft*cough* with them for the first 20ish miles. I don't have a power meter but my general plan was to and keep an even power profile for the course. That meant I sat and spun at the bottom of the hill while the others stood and hammered then I would catch them at the top of the uphill and start passing a lot of people on the downhills. This strategy worked great as the first 35 miles flew by.

When we hit the climbs up to Veyo I started to feel a little sick as I had been drinking gatorade and ate an Uncrustable. Granted that is some sweet ass eating but my stomach wasn't having it. At this point I dialed back the power a bit to help myself digest and at the next aid station I switched to only water and just natural food bananas, etc. to calm my stomach. Thankfully that worked quickly and by the time I was out of Gunlock I was feeling much better.

We hit the big hills just out of Gunlock and I was wishing for a bit bigger cassette but the winds were fine so I didn't have to push too hard, the first pro male caught me on the first hill and made me feel like I was going backwards then the rest of them caught me on the Wall.

Once again going over the top I was of the mindset to take what the course gives me and at that point it was giving me a sweet downhill so I took advantage and passed a LOT of people on the way down into town. Going into Snow Canyon the winds had picked up as they always seem to and I hit 45mph on my bike. Scarily my bike got a bit nervous of the speed and wind and started to give me the lovely speed wobble! I straightened her out and promised no more 40+ mph for the day.

The start of the second lap was no fun as we turned off Highway 18 right into a strong headwind that lasted about 10-12 miles until the turnoff up to Gunlock. As soon as I was out of the headwind though things got SO much better. I just kept telling myself as I pedaled up the hills that this was the last time my tires would EVER roll over this stretch of pavement again. Let me tell you that kept the tires rolling. The only issue I had was that my feet were really starting to get sore and with a marathon ahead I figured this was a very bad thing. Then I got an idea and pulled over to a rest stop and rolled up some toilet paper and stuck it under the ball of my foot. Bingo! instant riding on clouds. I was proud of my mid race MacGyver move and it helped me finish up the second loop strong.

Side note whoever decided it was a good idea to send us down then back up a 1/2 mile 8% grade hill a couple miles from the finish should have fire ants inserted in their underwear. After that it was fun riding down seeing all the runners out rocking the course.
Transition 2
  • 13m 40s

Nothing too exciting in T2 I took some extra time to stretch my back then as I was going to put on sunscreen some guy came up and asked to borrow some. Seeing as I was all about good Karma I said sure and he proceeded to spray little bits in his hand then rub on his nose, cheeks, forehead, neck, armpits, fingertips, toes, knees, nose again.... ok maybe not all that but damn it felt like he took his time. After that I grabbed some water and quick bathroom break and I was off.
  • 5h 34m 49s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 12m 47s  min/mile

Started out the run by checking in with Jen's family to see how she was doing. I was happy to hear that she was doing well and it looked like she would make the bike cutoff. I took off running and my arse hurt something fierce. I just pretended it felt like a massage and kept running. My plan for the first lap was to run gentle uphills, flats and downhills and walk the steep uphills and aid stations. The fans and aid stations were amazing on this course there were fans lining the streets for the first mile or so then we hit the well organized aid stations. I was quite a bit over the first mile or so then I loosened up enough to start running what felt like a decent pace.

I had a slim chance of seeing Jen come in on the bike as the first 2 or so miles of the run course are along the end of the bike course. So I ran where I could see the cyclists coming in. Then I saw Jen! I was literally so excited for her that I put my arms up and was jumping and yelling "YES! YES!" at her, she had a huge smile on her face as I knew this was the part of the course that was responsible for a ton of stress and I was so happy that she had made it. I think everyone around me thought I was psycho though as I was acting like I was crossing the finish line at 2.62 miles instead of 26.2. After that I had a ton of energy and I cranked out the first half marathon in about 2:30.

After the first half though I was hurting. My whole body hurt to the touch, my arms legs/everything just HURT so needless to say the start of my second lap was slow and relatively miserable. I was walking a good portion of the start of the loop and I was kind of down until I saw Jen for the second time. I loved being able to stop for a second and talk with her because she was in such good spirits it really lifted me up. After that I was still walking but at least I was walking with a purpose. On the uphill I even passed a few people who were running.

At the top of the big hill I decided I had to figure out nutritionally what to try to get my ass back in gear. I was very close to ditching the vegetarianism for the chicken broth when I overheard someone saying to try coke so I started taking on some cola and a bit of water. After a couple aid stations I was really feeling quite a lot better so I could start running again. After about 8 aid stations I was f*cking HIGH on caffeine and running like a pack of wildebeests was chasing me, I saw Jen and I must have looked like I was snorting coke not drinking it as I told her "YOU.MUST.DRINK.COKE!" After that I petted a pig (really, well it was fake, whatever), also petted a dog (real one) and passed like 50 people on my way to a fast last 6 miles to the finish. Once I hit the top of main street it was an amazing experience as the fans were lining the side of the course cheering so loud. Then I slowed to separate from the group in front of me so I could have the chute to my self. I got in the chute and heard my name called and just couldn't believe it. It was a strange feeling because even surrounded by people I felt like I was alone in a tunnel, I just soaked it all in and crossed the line, nothing in sport beats that feeling.
Post race
Warm down:

Still high on adrenalin and caffeine I chatted with the finish line catcher who was super helpful and nice. He was like "You seem to be in good spirits" I just told him it was a great day to be out there. I went directly back out to the finishing chute to continue to watch people come across the line.

The sight of seeing Jen finish made me happier than I can express here, we both went through a lot to get here and we were in no way sure we would both make it. But to have us both get to share in the finish was an amazing experience that I wouldn't trade for anything.

Event comments:

"Why do we do this? Why do we sign ourselves up for these races that are purposely more challenging than we think we may be able to accomplish?" Both questions that I asked myself a lot after going up to St. George in March and being defeated. Crossing that finish line and reflecting on the experience as a whole is why. We forced ourselves out of our comfort zones during training and during the race, in that we learn more about ourselves. All those experiences when put as a whole are the reason for pushing oneself beyond the limit of comfort because reflecting back now I can say the reward is greater than the risk.

Last updated: 2010-05-03 12:00 AM
01:24:55 | 3862 meters | 02m 12s / 100meters
Age Group: 140/
Overall: 1172/
Performance: Good
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 12:30
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
07:28:15 | 112 miles | 14.99 mile/hr
Age Group: 142/
Overall: 1163/
Performance: Average
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 13:40
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
05:34:49 | 26.2 miles | 12m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 129/
Overall: 1132/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2010-05-04 11:06 PM

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Big Bear City, California
Subject: Ironman St. George - Utah

2010-05-04 11:25 PM
in reply to: #2837510

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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Wow!  Great RR, great race!  You are an Ironman!!
2010-05-04 11:26 PM
in reply to: #2837510

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Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

WOW! You did amazing! Awesome swim, consistency on such a brutal bike course, and then amazing first half of the marathon and last 10k. I'm so happy for both you and Jen. You guys put in such solid training and had an awesome day out  there! Such an inspiration.

Congratulations Ironman!

2010-05-04 11:37 PM
in reply to: #2837510

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Big Bear City, California
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
OOPS posted as you!


Edited by robot 2010-05-04 11:38 PM
2010-05-04 11:38 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2010-05-04 11:40 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Mesa, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
OK this is me:

This report cracked me up! I had no idea the song Iron Man was your anthem, I shall keep that in mind!

The highlight of my day was showing you that YES I was going to make it and see you be so excited and proud! I love doing this with you, we sure have had a lot of great adventures. I was so proud to see you doing so well. YOU truly inspire me - your attitude is contagious.

HUGE CONGRATS HUGE! I cannot wait to see what the future has in store!

2010-05-04 11:40 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Chandler, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

Great race Josh! You looked like you were having a lot of fun out there. It was great watching you and Jen race!

2010-05-04 11:45 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Chandler, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

Josh, I could not be happier for the both of you. This was a great RR to read. I love how you took this course on as a challenge.


2010-05-04 11:48 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Phoenix, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
mid race MacGyver for the WIN! Good job avoiding the chicken, that fowl temptress. Get it?!?!!?
2010-05-05 12:05 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Funniest RR ever! Although I walk with fire ants in my underwear all the time... I sorta like it.

Congrats on finishing an Ironman so many people wouldn't even consider. This is what makes me want to try it. Let me know if you sign up.. I think I'll be right behind ya. 
2010-05-05 12:55 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Nice work up there.  I really do have agree with you about that 8% hill back to T2.  That was just mean.

2010-05-05 1:20 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Great report! And I agree 100% with the fire ants suggestion.

Edited by dieathlon 2010-05-05 1:20 AM
2010-05-05 9:02 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Surprise, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

Great job, Josh, and a HUGE congratulations.  You closed the deal on this one exactly the way I thought you would - now it's official, Ironman!

2010-05-05 11:24 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Awesome RR - great attitude and wonderful perspective on the day!
2010-05-05 11:29 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Awesome RR! and Awesome job!!! Very proud of you and all that you have accomplished over the past few years!!!
2010-05-05 12:16 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Congratulations!! This was such an awesome race report...I loved reading it!

2010-05-05 3:40 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Peoria, AZ (Near Lake Pleasant)
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

I expected no less from you Josh!  Great job and an awsome job on the course to boot!

2010-05-05 4:32 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
All these mentions of Jen Jen Jen... I thought my fist on the bike and the Josh yelps on the run did it... LOL Joking.

Great work Josh!
2010-05-06 10:59 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Extreme Veteran
Bend, OR
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

It was great that I was able to see you and Jen and say, "Hello!" I only wish we had more time to chat but on race morning I'm sure the nerves were running high and the portapotty line looked long. 

Great RR! This was a very challenging course and I was there all day watching everyone fight through it. Congratulations to both you and Jen for a race well done! I hope that I get to see you guys again soon. Cheers!

2010-05-06 7:15 PM
in reply to: #2837510

Gilbert, Arizona
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah
Nice job Josh.  Sounds like you and Jen had a great experience.  The two of you had great reports and both of you set personal records way to go.
2010-05-07 7:25 AM
in reply to: #2837510

Goodyear, AZ
Subject: RE: Ironman St. George - Utah

Josh, I am just so impressed with your training and racing! You tackled such a tough IM as your first (makes IMAZ look like a walk in the park!) and you did it with such a great attitude!

Sounds like you had an awesome experience, before, during and after the race!

Recover well and Congrats on becoming an Ironman!  

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