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Reflections on Ironman 70.3 St. George

Posted on September 19 2021

What. Just. Happened?  The world championships are over, the beautiful city that lies in the northeastern part of the Mohave desert is starting to empty and people are heading to the airport or starting a long drive home.

It will be about a six-and-a-half-hour trek for us to make it back to Los Angeles and while we don’t love the length of the drive, we will enjoy having some time to reflect on the amazing performances that we had the honor of witnessing.

Triathletes at Ironman St. George

The pre-race meet up of Coeur customers, TCB Members, and ambassadors 

And trust us, we’ll need the entire trip to cover them all, because everyone who suited up, clipped in, and tightened the laces of their shoes to compete in this triathlon deserves a moment of reflection and admiration.

Of course, we knew it could be hot, because…well, because it’s in the Mohave desert.  We also knew the course would be challenging because we had heard the stories about the previous races held in St. George. In fact, one of the former race directors told us that he received complaints from racers in the past, stating that the event, was just too hard.

To be fair, a championship race should test the competitors, and everyone was forewarned that there would be heat, wind and hills. That being said, we must have missed the warning about monsoonal rains!  But, as we knew they would, when the winds picked up and the rain changed from being occasional drops, to more occasional tadpole sized blobs, to become a full-on gully washer, the women in Coeur and all the athletes, just lowered their heads and kept on truckin.

Finish Line of Ironman 70.3 St. George

Cathy Ennis Yndestad on her way to an Age Group win at. St. George 70.3

Running in a Triathlon

Amy Farrell on her way to a 2nd Place Age Group Finish

 For the record, we were not surprised.  Just to make it to the start of any triathlon, you must have more than your fair share of grit and drive.  Then, if you’ve trekked all the way to the desert to race a world championship, it’s probably going to take more than freakish weather to get you to stop.  A saying we used to hear in our home state of Georgia may serve to describe the degree of mental toughness you must have to compete in these races.  You can fill in a variety of adjectives, but the saying goes something like this…”When God was handing servings of toughness, she got back in the line for seconds!”.

So, no…the determination that was on display was not a surprise.  Inspiring…yes.  Humbling…you bet.  But “surprising”…not really.

What did catch us off guard, was how incredible it felt to be back with our customers, our ambassadors, and our friends.  We’ve been going to Kona and 70.3 Worlds since Coeur was founded in 2013 and seeing incredible athletes doing incredible things almost became routine.

Packing up to attend a race became a matter of course.  Supporting and cheering for everyone wearing Coeur was always enjoyable, but admittedly, we began to take it for granted a bit. If we couldn’t make it to the race this weekend, we’d surely make to the next one.  

Then, everything changed. The races stopped and we packed up our tent, our coolers and our little motivational signs as the world pretty much shut down.

The past two years have taught us many things and high on that list is the lesson that community is incredibly important. We know that is an overused term, sort of like the word “authentic” or, when it comes to music, the word “crossroads”.  Credit to Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney for pointing that last one out, but it’s true. Even though, sometimes, a few of us here at Coeur can be a bit on the introverted side, we’re still social creatures and we have missed everything about these races.

Being there to laugh, cry, and cheer for all of you this weekend reminded us of what we had lost. And believe me, we loved every minute of it. We loved feeling the tension in the air before the race start. We loved tracking people online then rushing out to try and figure out where we could see them on course and we loved hearing the stories after the last person had crossed the finish line!

Bike Ride at 70.3 World Championships

The Coeur team on a pre-race shakeout ride

So, congratulations to all the athletes who put it on the line here at St. George and everywhere across the globe and in all seriousness, Thank You!

We’ve missed you and even though it’s difficult to predict what the future holds, we can’t wait to cheer for you again next time!