The 2013 Ironman St. George 70.3 lived up to its billing as a hard fought race, with a top-notch field, on a spectacular course. I gave it all I had, which was good enough for 3rd place on the day.

 

 

Given that my husband's funny video race reports have automatically relegated mine to the tedious category, I'll keep it short with lots of pictures! In fact the handy video below c/o Triathlete Magazine (too tricky for me to imbed here) pretty much sums it up:

  

http://triathlon.competitor.com/2013/05/video/video-heather-wurtele-chats-about-third-place-st-george-finish_75352

 

Before I get into the good stuff, I must make a little note that the race needs to be the NORTH AMERICAN, not the US Pro Championships. There is the Latin American, Asia Pacific, European and.... US Pro Championships. It seems that Canada is the only country excluded from an Ironman 70.3 Championship event. We get hosed, eh.  This needs to be changed in the future, especially given the number of successful Canadian professional athletes in the long course triathlon scene... For instance, the guy who won the event on the men's side: Brent McMahon.

 

The lead up to race day was busy, as all big events tend to be, doing interviews, photo shoots, getting our bikes dialed...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Despite some excellent final tune ups the week before with our coach Paulo, and feeling like I couldn't have executed my training leading up to the race much better than I did, the most excellent prep was hampered by a wicked bout of food poisoning starting Thursday evening which had me in close proximity to our toilet until the pro panel on Friday afternoon. I managed to keep some food down late Friday though, and really rallied for race day on Saturday. There are always people sick, injured, dealing with stressful issues before competions so you just have to suck it up and give it all you have.

 

Conditions on race day were IDEAL with perfect temperatures, and no wind making for times that will be hard to beat in future years. It was the most calm day I've ever had on the course, in fact. I had hoped for a bit more wind to make the bike harder and hopefully allow me to make up time to the speedy swimmers - with my super aero P5 - easier.

 

I swam well, sticking with the main chase pack, and hanging on the feet of Barbara Riveros. On to the bike I knew I'd have to push hard all day, to get to the front. I was happy to pass Leanda Cave shortly after the climb on the back side of the lake, through Hurricane and I got Laura Bennet and Kelly Williamson riding up the SR-9 into Washington. From then on it was a lonely ride until I could see Meredith Kessler and Annabel Luxford up ahead aways on the climb up in Snow Canyon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into T2 I was in 4th position and I could see both Meredith and Annabel running together up diagonal. I felt like I was gaining, but much more gradually than I would have liked! Kessler pulled away from Luxford, and it took me until the return trip through Pioneer Park to do the same.  Now in 3rd I tried to hammer catch 2nd, as I heard that the leader - Svenja Bazlen - who had an impressive 5 min gap to 2nd off the bike, was falling apart.  Up the last little nasty climb to the Elk's lodge I saw that Meredith made the pass, but try as I could, 3rd spot was where I would stay for the last downhill miles  back to town and into the finish shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks so much to my fantastic sponsors, my coach Paulo, all my friends and loved ones (especially mom and dad Danforth who were down to watch the race), for enabling me to race to the best of my ability. Also thanks to the fantastic crew at AtoZion who made this race so excellent for all the pros.

 

 Saucony • Cervélo • 1st endurance • Rolf Prima • Manitoba Harvest • Giro • Aqua Sphere  CycleOps Power • UltrAspire
Torhans • Bonk Breaker • Smith Optics

 

 

Next up: Rev3 Quassy and the Ironman Coeur d'Alene!

 

 

 

 

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