Los Angeles Triathlon Club
Race Report
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Club Member: Ismael Contreras
Race: St George Ironman
Distance: Ironman
Race Date: 05/07/11
Submit Date: 05/12/11

The high was around 95 degrees with a slight wind. The Sand Hollow Resevoir was reported to be 62 degrees on race day so it was ok with a wetsuit. The pros started 15 min before and everyone else started at exactly 0700 hrs. I managed to get there early and head out to the front. For my first mass start swim, i didnt think it was that bad. I actually got hit a couple of times in the face causing my goggles to shift but nothing major to complain about. I exited the swim in 1 hour 25 minutes, which was around a 10 minute improvement from Louisville IM. The bike course was not only challenging due to elevation, which started at 3,000 ft and peaked around 4,700, but it had some long steady hills that made even the most experienced slow down. The longest hill, which they call the wall, is around .8 of a mile. I saw a few riders off their bike and resting in the middle of some of the long hills. My left hamstring, quad, and gluteus, cramped up at mile 50 and i was no longer pushing to better my time but to finish the bike portion of the race. I didnt care how bad the run was going to be but i just wanted to finish the bike leg because my cramps were getting worse. The aid stations started a little late on the bike and i'd recommend to have your own nutrition for at least the first 20 miles. I finished in 6 hrs and 6 minutes and started my run. The run felt like it was also mostly hills but at least the cramping was not as bad. Every time i would push the pace, the cramping would come back so i decided to pace accordingly. The aid stations, every mile, were fantastic on the run. The run was two loops just like the bike so after the first loop, you knew what to expect. At least if the race is difficult, knowing the second part of the course will prepare you mentally. Overall, it was a very challenging course, and even if my cramps would not have been an issue, it would've been a tough race. They say its the toughest Ironman in the world but i'm sure that is questionable. All i know is that this is one of the only races that did not sell out, which might be a good indication of how difficult it is. This is only my second IM race so i'm not sure how transition locations work at most IM events. Ironman Louisville (1st IM) had the host hotel close by with T1 and T2 at the same location, which made life a lot easier. On race day, we just walked to the swim start no problem. St George IM has T1 about 20 minutes away from the convention center/hotels and T2 about 5 minutes away (driving). This means you have to drive and drop off your bike at T1 and run gear bag at T2 before race day instead of walking it down the street. On race day, athletes have to dropped off T2 and get bused to the swim start/ T1. Family members/spectators have to drive near T1 and then get bused to the swim start. Besides the transition drama, the race itself offers a great scenery and challenging course.

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