I.M.70.3 St. George Race Review
We think it is fitting that the original St. George was a soldier in the Roman Army because this 70.3 course requires toughness. We’re friends with the original Race Directors (when this was an Ironman) and they tell us that they actually got complaints that the course was too difficult. But if you signed up for the race, we know you are tough and you race with plenty of heart and courage, so don’t worry. You’ll get through it just fine.
So, let’s tell you a little about the city first. If you don’t drive, you’ll probably fly into Las Vegas which is about 90 miles away. A quick two hour drive takes you to St. George which is known for its hospitality and has the vibe of a close-knit, friendly small town. There’s a reasonable amount of lodging in and around St. George and the La Quinta is known to be Pet Friendly. We’ve heard good things about the Inn at Entrada too if you’d like to stay in a casita.
There is a quaint historic district in the city with lots of places to eat and galleries showcasing local artwork. The area also boasts plenty of shopping and has a factory outlet mall where you can score some deals pre- or post-race.
With its red mesas and green pines, St. George is just beautiful….and hilly. Hence, its reputation for toughness. The weather is supposed to be warm and sunny this time of year but in the past, cold fronts have been known to blow through prior and temperatures have plummeted. So keep an eye on the weather planned for race week and be prepared.
Ahh…the St. George Swim. It’s held in Sand Hollow Reservoir which is beautiful. If the weather is nice, the water should be smooth. Should be is the key word here. There was at least one year where the wind picked up just as the swim was going off and waves grew to incredible height seemingly in a matter of minutes. There are a few Youtube videos that caught the event that are worth watching. But again, you’re tough, so don’t get too worked up.
Be aware that you’ll be bussed to the start line from the T2 parking lot on Town Square. Oh and the water is expected to be between 60-64 degrees so plan for a wetsuit.
Prepare for takeoff on the bike! While the weather is hard to guarantee, the one thing you’ll know for sure is that you’ll be ascending a lot on the bike. About 2,500 feet to be more precise.
While the bike courses is one of the most challenging on the circuit, the good news is that what goes up must come down. Some of the descents are just as epic. You’ll at least be distracted from the elevation change by the stunning views of downtown St. George, Snow Canyon and the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Also, the Snow Canyon climb is lined with motivational posters from the local tri club, which will give you a great bump.
Shockingly, the run is…also hard. Sorry…hope we didn’t get your hopes up. There is about 750 feet of climbing on the 13.1 mile route and some of the hills are just plain steep. The good news is that the city of St. George loves the event and they turn out in full force, so you’ll have quite a few supporters to help you to the finish.
Speaking of the finish, it is on Town Square in St. George and it is fantastic. Everyone there knows how hard the course is and they’ll reward you for your efforts with great enthusiasm.
So there’s our write up. We hope you have a great race. Oh…and Coeur will have gear for sale in the Merchandise Tent, so swing by and pick something up if you’d like.
Heart and Courage!
Your friends at Coeur.