The 2014 North American champions are Meredith Kessler and Jan Frodeno. Meredith and second place Jody Swallow really raced at a level above, with third place Heather Wurtele chasing hard from behind with a phenomenal finishing kick into third. Honorable mention to Brent McMahon who led the race until the final chute where Frodeno sprinted to the win. I was 11th after a charging Linsey Corbin nipped me at the line for 10th. There were a lot of triathlon stars battling for every inch.
My finish time was 6% slower than first place and less than 2% off of fifth place in a truly world class field. I raced much of the day in 6th to 7th place so being passed in the last 2 miles by four people with some awful downhill running was frustrating, but racing in the top ten May 3, 2014 in that quality field was good practice for the World Championship in September. I am racing all non-cherry picker events this year which is an excellent way to get a true picture of where your fitness really is and what to work on. It is so incredibly motivating to see where the level in long distance triathlon is. I love the challenge, excitement and struggle that is represented in racing 70.3.
The challenging thing about 70.3 racing is it is all guts spewing from start to finish. I remember leaning on technical skills on less than 100% days to still find the top step in XTERRA racing but in 70.3 there is nowhere to hide. Weakness is quickly exploited by the competition – especially with a field so strong. One would be hard pressed to find any moment of weakness in the top girls with their classy, dominant and impressive racing. Chapeau ladies!
I really appreciated the excellence in the organization of this event. St George is a beautiful city in a spectacular area of Utah. The race course was killer, from the crystal clear water of the swim, to the challenging and scenic bike course, the super tough run on giant hills which finished with us dropping down into the quaint downtown square. I am sorry I haven’t raced here sooner and I really hope to have the chance to come back. I am very grateful to have met my super amazing homestay Sue Lipsman and her friends including Canadians Gary and Linda who hosted Brent McMahon. My time in St George was spent enjoying good health with great people the entire time. Thank you so much to St George organizing committee and Paul Jewkes of @atozion in particular for making the pros so welcome. I managed to squeak some time in hiking Zion with my bf and in the process managed to scare the crap out of myself on Angel’s Landing. That place is incredible!
My early season results are not what I might have expected. Having my blackjack winnings exceed my prize earnings for the year is not ideal. Although, that is positive – I am winning, even if it is only $200! It isn’t that I am not strong and fit… it is that the girls I am racing are incredible. I want to be at that level. The devil is in the details and some of my details need some attention. So until my next opportunity to have a great race I will be back to work.
Thank you to Mark Andrews from Trek Factory Racing for the race support in St George. Shout out to Shimano, Champion System, Powertap, Powerbar, Rudy Project, Bontrager, Cobb Saddles, Blue Seventy Wetsuits, USANA, Synergy Wellness Management, Mindful Strides and Procity Racing Victoria for the continued support.