Time to start recapping my experience at Ironman 70.3 St. George!
A Las Vegas Quickie
Neil and I flew WestJet direct from Calgary to Las Vegas on Wednesday. I was nervous about flying with my bike, but I figured a direct flight would help to minimize my anxiety or the possibility that something could happen to it. As it turned out, the bike arrived safe and sound. Our brand new suitcase (bought to replace a suitcase that was damaged on our return home from New York) arrived short one wheel. Ironically my bike then became the easiest piece of luggage to wheel around!
After grabbing our rental car we made our way to New York New York on the strip so we could have lunch at Shake Shack. We then made stops at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for groceries on our way out of town. St. George is less than a two hour drive away from Las Vegas. Once you get to Arizona the scenery is pretty spectacular.
On Thursday morning I puttered around running errands (like grabbing this adorable shirt with swimmers on it from Target) and Neil and I built my bike. We dropped it off at Rapid Cycling for a quick check over to make sure we had put it together properly. All of a sudden it was 2:00 and time to make my way over to Ironman Village to check in!
The volunteers handling registration and check in were so amazing. Everyone was friendly and supportive. The lines moved fairly swiftly and before I knew it I had my wrist band, packet, sling bag and race shirt.
This year we got our race shirts at packet pick up, and they fit nicely. The sling bag is actually really large and has pockets on the front, plus a zip pocket on the back. This will definitely get used!
I stuck around for the athlete briefing and the pro panel. It was a warm day with not much shade so I was grateful I brought a bottle of water and that Zealios was on hand with a big jug of SPF45.
Lined up at the pro panel were Sebastian Kienle, Brent McMahon, Ben Hoffman, Lionel Sanders, Meredith Kessler, Heather Wurtele and Mirinda Carfrae. I was really struck by the camaraderie amongst the pros. This is obviously a sport that they love and it was great to hear them talk more. Also big thanks to all of the pros that hung around for a bit of a meet and greet afterward!
I also had a chance to meet up with a few of my SOAS Racing teammates. We had quite a few women racing in St. George and it was nice to get to know a few of them.
On Friday Neil and I made our way out to Sand Hollow Reservoir so I could get in a quick swim. Swimming in open water is always so different from the pool so it is good to have a refresher on exactly how different it is! The water was quite choppy, but at 64F that day it was a comfortable temperature to swim in.
I also wanted an opportunity to drive the bike course beforehand. I had hoped to get an idea for what to expect for hills. There was a lot of oohing and ahhing along the way as we marvelled at just how pretty it was. The final climb out Snow Canyon would definitely be a pretty one (and a challenge)!
As we drove around I would check the weather forecast on my phone to see what our chance of rain would be for the race the next day. All I could think about was that these were not hills that I would want to descend in wet weather!
We had to check our bikes in at T1 overnight on Friday, but running gear drop off in T2 overnight was optional. There was a chance of showers overnight so I decided not to leave my running shoes in T2. The weather at Sand Hollow during bike drop off was crazy! Wind was gusting 55 km/hr (34 mph) according to my weather app. I was worried the bike racks might blow over!
Oh well, I just had to leave my bike behind and hope for the best!