IRONMAN St. George 70.3 – Pre-Race. Course Previews

IRONMAN St. George Utah, 70.3 is my big race for the year. I’ve been training for it all year long and this was a PTC club race. We had 20+ racers signed up for the event. My friends packed up and went to St. George on Wednesday. Since many of us hadn’t been there before, this gave us time to preview the course and get the lay of the land. This turned out to be a huge advantage. Mentally, we were way more prepared for the race.

Eight of us met at Lynda and Bill’s house and carpooled. Lynda packed up tons of road trip snack bags. Ben was very happy about that.


Haroon, Ben, Luis, Bryan, Lynda, me, Bill, and Gregg. Leaving for St. George UT.


Ben’s wife and son stayed in LA to visit friends while we took off for a sufferfest.


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To get to St. George UT, we drove passed the solar farm and through fabulous Las Vegas. Hot there. 100 more miles along I15.

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We crossed through the northwest tip of Arizona. It looked like we were headed straight at a wall. It turned out to be a rugged canyon, a look-a-like for the Grand Canyon.

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Just past the Utah state line, you’re in St. George. Red Rock country. We unloaded at the hotel and went for a short run to shake out off car ride. It was hot. Low 90F.

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Thursday morning we geared up on our bikes and previewed the run course. The run course is 13.1 miles of HILLS. We started at the town center, where IRONMAN village was set up. This is T2, where the run starts. More friends joined us for the bike tour.


Glenn, Rob, Alvin, Bryan, Bill, Luis, Gregg, Lynda, Steve, Ben, Haroon, Eugene, Shane, and me.

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From the top of the bluff, you can see the whole downtown area. White Temple off to the left and white spire of tabernacle church is at the finish line.


We rode over to Alvin’s rental house. We planned on a Post-Race Party there. It was perfect.

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Overall, the run course is a hills, hills, and more hills. Stunning dessert views. Beautiful city view from the bluffs.

After the run preview, we went to IRONMAN village and picked up our packet. It was very smooth, a well-oiled machine.

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Just before the Pro Panel Discussion started, I hopped on stage a got a picture with the Pros!

Meredith Kessler, Brent McMahon, Me, Mirinda Carfrae, and Ben Hoffman!

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I bought boatload of IRONMAN stuff. I was in a dangerous shopping mood. I got a M-dot t-shirt with my name in it. A matching hoodie. A car emblem M-dot. and a visor. All of which were overpriced.

Next we drove the 2nd half of the bike course, which leads out of town toward Snow Canyon.


Once we got to Snow Canyon, the bike course goes off the road onto a hiking trail (not even a real bike trail). The car couldn’t go there, so we pulled over to a rest stop and hoofed it through the sand to see where the trail went. It was stunning picturesque site. AMAZING.

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We had a big dinner and lots of laughs. We went back to the hotel and laid everything out. This was the night to make sure you had all your gear. On Friday, we would be dropping off all the gear to both T1 and T2.

Friday morning, we drove out to Sand Hallow State Park for a Swim Preview. It was Hot. Do you see a theme here? I was just dripping sweat trying to get my wetsuit on. The red sand is trucked into the swim beach, which makes it nice to run around, but hot in the sun. The water was cold, but not Pacific frigid cold. The reservoir filled up and submerged some rock formations. With really clear water, the rock formations are visible under water. That was cool.

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We swam about 300 yds to a small rock formation that you can stand on, look in the center of the picture.


The swim course is basically around the rock island seen below.



After the swim preview, we dropped off our bikes at T1. We saw friends in T1.

Shane, Glenn, and Eugene.

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Michael. Gail and Neil.

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From the Swim location, we drove the 1st half of the bike course all the way back to town. The initial climb out of the reservoir area is slow and steady, but does get fairly steep, 8%.

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We ended Friday by running back to town and dropping of Shoes at T1. It was a little nerve racking leaving your bike and gear at T1, and your shoes and gear at T2. And holding on to your nutrition, such as bottles, goos, and rice cakes until the morning.


We did all the preparation we could possibly do. We had a simple dinner and went to bed early. Did I mention that St. George is Mountain Time, which is 1 hr ahead of Pacific. I slept a little bit. then RACE DAY… See next Post.

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