A Course Review of Ironman St George by Jeanine Huebner who survived the swim but DNF’d on the bike – strong winds made the triathlon very tough
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Who Are you?
I am a 52 year old woman who has completed two prior full Ironman events — IMCDA and IMAZ. Started running when I was 40, ran Boston three times, and then started doing triathlons four years ago.
St George, Utah, USA
Why did I do this race?
I chose IMSG because I wanted to see if I could finish the “toughest” Ironman course.
The swim was a one-loop course in Sand Hollow Reservoir. The water was as smooth as glass when we started, and the temperature was perfect. After finding my space in the swim, I thought it was raining. I felt myself getting bounced around in the water. I stopped and noticed that the wind was blowing extremely hard and there were white caps and four-foot swells. I started to panic, but realized I needed to remain calm to make it through the swim. I just kept swimming as best I could. I realized many athletes were getting pulled from the water. I also noticed the kayaks and paddle boards seemed to disappear, and there were no boats near me. Remaining calm is the only factor that saved me. I made it through in 1:51.
The wind continued to be relentless on the bike. At mile 50 I pulled over and considered whether to continue. I was already behind my schedule from the swim, and I was in jeopardy of making the bike cut-off. I had difficulty picking up the pace in the wind, and I had expended more energy than I expected from the swim and the wind on the bike. I rode to the end of the first loop and abandoned the race. [Sometimes a DNF is the best course of action]
I did not run.
The transition areas seemed well organized, and the volunteers were awesome.
Overall, well organized. Shuttle busses ran smoothly, atmosphere was good. No complaints. The morning after breakfast/video/awards was nice compared to the old format.
How did you do?
This is the first time I did not finish a race. I was disappointed, but I was happy to be safe. I am proud of myself for making it through the swim. I never thought I was a strong swimmer, but now I know that I am!
I do not think they should have any more races with a swim in San Hollow Reservoir because the weather conditions are too unpredictable. We are fortunate that no one died that day. The weather was supposed to be perfect for race day, and mother nature changed her mind about ten minutes after the race started.
You can read Jeanine’s blog Jeanie is Triing here
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