It’s been almost a month since the race, and I’ve started and stopped this race report several times, so I figured I better finish it up I forget all of the details of the race! Or forget the logistics, man there were a lot of logistics with this race!
Our journey started with us flying into Vegas Thursday early afternoon, then we picked up our rental car and drove the 2ish hours to St. George, arriving around 4:30p.
Since this was the first (and hopefully only) time I have flown with my bike, the whole morning/flight I was a slight wreck worried if it would 1. Arrive 2. Arrive in one piece. Oh let’s just be honest, weeks before we even left I was worried about it! I realize these things were out of my control once I checked my bike box at the Southwest check-in counter, however I still couldn’t stop myself from worrying. This is why I drive to most races, one less thing to worry about, however driving to St. George wasn’t really a decent option as it was a 21+ hour drive. No thank you! Anyways, it did arrive and it was the first piece of luggage coming down the carousel at baggage claim in Vegas, and then when we arrived in St. George I dropped it off at local shop for it to be reassembled/tuned up, which they called less than an hour later to say it was in once piece and ready to go. 🙂 Hooray, one less thing to fret about.
After checking in the hotel, doing a little unpacking, we went back to pick the bike up, and then stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up supplies for our planned hikes in Zion after the race. Supplies included: water, Clif Bars, Gummy snacks, Trail Mix, Epsom salt (to soak after race/hiking) and a few other snacks. I had read that the prices of items in Springdale, the town right outside the park, were crazy high, so it was better to buy our supplies before heading there. After shopping we got a late dinner and then it was lights out around 10a
Friday late morning we headed to Athlete check-in, listened to the hour athlete briefing, walked around town and got lunch, and then finally checked my run gear bag in (we couldn’t check it in until 1p).
Then we headed back to the hotel to get my bike and bike gear bag and drive the 30 minutes to Sand Hollow Beach where the swim start and T1 was. The logistics of this race had my head spinning, waaaay too many things to remember. I’ve only done a few other races where T1 and T2 were separate, but they were always within walking distance. This 30 minutes apart thing was a pain! After checking in my bike (it turns out the bike gear bags weren’t mandatory, so I decided to wait to set up my bike gear until race morning), we walked down to the water to check out the temp… it was chilly but also felt refreshing in the heat, hopefully I felt the same way the next morning!
Then we headed back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, and went to dinner at the Gun Barrel for my usual
steak (now steak sounds horrible these days for some reason, so chicken it was), baked sweet potato and broccoli. After dinner it was an early bedtime, around 9p and surprisingly I slept pretty darn well.
Race day I was up at 4a, ate my breakfast (banana, almond butter and applesauce), got dressed, slathered myself in sunscreen, and soon we were ready to head to T1 at the very early hour of 4:50a. The race had athlete only shuttles the morning from T2 to T1, but I worried if I had JMR drop me off there, I would never see him once I arrived to T1. This year they allowed spectators to park at Sand Hollow Beach, so even though it meant I might be rushed to get to T1 due to traffic (we were informed the buses with the athlete’s would get priority getting into the parking area), I figured it was worth it so I could stay with JMR.
Well, to my surprise (and I guess since we left so early), we arrived and were parked by 5:20a. Woah. Super early for me… I had no idea what I would do with well over an hour before T1 closed. When I got into T1, the first thing I did was wait in a very long porta potty line to take care of business, next I took my bike to nearby pumps to pump up the tires, then I setup T1…and lord only knows what took so long, but I was in T1 for almost an hour! When I left I went to find JMR where I left him he was nowhere in sight. I walked around for almost 15 minutes with no luck – I even checked the port potty lines (an hour waiting had to have been horrible, and I thought maybe he had to go) and wandered all over with no luck. After transition was officially closed at 6:45a, I walked back over to where we parted one last time, and finally found him! He said he hadn’t moved an inch…. not sure how I missed him, but boy was I glad to see him 🙂 After a kiss, he helped me squish into my wetsuit and walked with me to the 35-37 swim time wave.
I talked to my coach about where to start since it was a rolling start and not assigned waves, and he was confident in my times that 37 would be a good spot, maybe a little faster. Before I knew it we were all slowly inching towards the start and suddenly I was just a few spots away from starting (they let 3 people in the water at a time, 3 seconds apart). Then I lined up and the beeper sounded, I was off!