Shortly after racing IM70.3 North Carolina in 2021 as part of Team IMF (IRONMAN Foundation), I got a phone call from one of the Foundation staff members asking if I wanted to represent the Foundation in St. George at the IM70.3 World Championships in 2022. Having raced IM World Championship in Kona in a Charily Spot (for Women for Tri in 2016), I was excited about the prospect, but a little nervous that I could still fundraise at that level. The fundraising commitment for the 70.3 World Championships is $15,000 and I would have 10 months to get it done.
Before I can tell you about the race and race week, I need to say THANK YOU!!!! As a community, we raised over $17,500 for the Ironman Foundation! Whether you donated directly, sponsored or participated in my indoor triathlon, participated in my Top in Topsail Raffle, or Sponsored a Mile for one of my many races - THANK YOU!!! I would not have been able to get to this start line without your generosity! Your donations are being used to support the initiatives of the Foundation, which includes supporting MANY smaller non-profits in each of the race communities. While fundraising was not technically part of the race, it is an important part of my journey. I am proud to race to make an IMPACT. When I train and race, I lean on the idea that what I am doing is about philanthropy and that helps me through the hard parts!
********************** RACE DAY *********************
Transition 1: 8:28 It was SO cold getting out of the water. The uphill climb out of the water helped a bit, but wet and cold are not a good combo. I took time to dry off with a towel and put on arm warmers, socks (I normally don't wear socks on the bike), gloves, and a gator around my neck. When I got to my bike, I unzipped my kit and added the mylar blanket I had grabbed from medical in the morning, and put it against my skin to block wind against my chest and torso. This was a tip from Matt Hanson (pro) that I am so happy I followed. I think that made a HUGE difference in my ride. I did have a bit of an issue zipping my kit back up over the mylar, which made my transition time way longer than I'd hoped, but I wasn't really racing for time :-)
Once I reached the toll booth and the aid station at the top of snow canyon, I was SO relieved! I threw all of the extra clothes and the blanket I had taken off towards the trash at the aid station and said a loud "oh Thank God!" which the volunteer said he'd heard lots that day! The last 9 miles are mostly downhill. There were a few short uphills, but I was able to get enough momentum going into them that they barely slowed me down. I maxed out at 38.7mph which is nothing compared to most of my tri-friends, but is a big deal for this scaredy cat! I did get a bit cold again on the descent, but I welcomed it after overheating in snow canyon. Side note: my toes were numb the whole bike, even when I was overheating - weird sensation!
Run: 13.1 miles/2:30:56 Not much to note about T2, except how grateful I was for the bike catchers! That transition would be long and annoying if we had to rack our own bikes! I also had a good laugh at my transition quote from Cheryl R - Boobs up, Shoulders Back! Ok - got it!
When I hit the 5k sign on the golf course, I peaked at my time and pace for the first time all day. I wanted to see how close I was to hitting my rockstar goal of 7 hours... I am not sure how good my math skills were at that moment, but I figured that I needed to hold a 13 min/mile to finish in 7 hours. Flipping screens on my watch, I saw I had averaged under 12 min/miles for that first uphill 5k. OK... let's do this.
This was my fastest half-ironman run of the year - beating VBR by 5+ minutes and Puerto Rico by 10+ minutes.