St. George and the Strangest Race
I call this race the s tranges trace because I always considered myself down, ou t, and nearly dead for the majori ty of the race. Only in maybe the las thalf of the mara thon did I think any thing good would come of this endeavor. I twas jus t so funky, windy, treacherous, ho t, scary, and crazy, that it was easy to get negative. I don’t think anyone tha traced really fel t good or in con trol for the vast majority of the race.
Apparently M-Dot has decided to change this race to a Half-Ironman nex t year. Given tha ti t is considered too difficul t and too early in the season (for a full dis tance race), tha tthe a ttendance has suffered over the las tcouple years. Well, I think the 2012 edi tion really pu tthe nail in the coffin on tha tone! One nice par tis tha t since the mara thon course was changed from the previous year, and will never be run again in the fu ture, I am the proud owner of a run course record tha tcan never be broken!
Pat “Nope no t enough” Sheeks, my coach and soigneur, road tripped down wi th me to S t. George. We fel t good abou tour journey, my prepara tion was very solid coming in to i t, I had my race s tra tegy mapped ou t, and we though ti t migh t even cool down a bi t on race morning. We also had an amazing homestay family to show us the ropes in St. George and treated us like royalty.
But little did we know wha tawai ted us on race morning…
This news article from the Salt Lake Tribune gives a pretty good description of the days events: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/sports/54055727-77/race-didn-george-athletes.html.csp
My Own Stats:
Swim – (10thelite)
- Even with the nasty chop, this was still my fastest IM swim by about 10 mins. Apparently I have a nasty chop stroke! I tossed my race strategy about 20 minutes into the race and went into “just don’t die” mode. Even though I am not afraid to die, I figured I would save it for another day if possible.
Bike – (9thElite)
- It was super duper windy, with 20 mile stretches at 8-12 miles/hour. This was the windiest ride I have ever been on, much less raced in. My IT band got sore just from trying to stabilize the bike! My time was so slow, I assumed incorrectly that there was no way I could eek out a good placing.
Run – (1st elite, results incorrectly have me at 5th).
- Thinking I was down and out, I asked my brother how far back I was while leaving transition, wondering if I should even start the run. Oh, only 50 minutes; No Big Deal! I only realized how much ground I made up by about the 15 mile mark, and proceeded to take some names. Coming into the finish chute with a lead bike by my side, high-fiving spectators was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. Apparently I accidentally denied my brother a high-five though!
I’ve had some amazing support leading up to this race, mostly from local sponsors such as Sports Reaction Center, Elite Sports and Spine, Run 26 and Woodinville Bicycle. I am super blessed to have these guys 100% behind me. As an example, I stepped on a rock while on a training run in Klamath Falls, which inflamed my foot pretty badly. A last minute dual-threat treatment from Sports Reaction and Elite Sports and Spine totally extinguished the pain and got me through the marathon. Thanks guys!!!
Pre-race, looking sleepy but really I am jacked to get started!
Fastest run split of the day
Never been happier to have a race be over!
In the money
Eventual winner and outstanding guy Ben Hoffman
The Dynamic Duo – Matt with Patrick “nope not enough” Sheeks, the ultimate manager.
Matt: “Hey Pat, I put in 5 hours of training today. Is that enough? I was kind of thinking I still have enough energy for a shake-out jog.”
Pat: “Nope not enough.”