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by Taylor

This was the second time I had been to St. George. It is a beautifully stunning location and the local city really embraces the race. I arrived a few days before the race and stayed with the owners of IBB Cycle. I was able to check out the course and ride some of the harder parts of the bike course to prepare for bike and run.

I went into the race this year much more prepared than last year. The year before, St. George was one week after my graduation. Having a full year of only focusing on training is very helpful.

On race morning it was windy, cool and threatening to rain. After a good warm up and listening to my tunes I was ready to race. The swim turned out well as I was able to find the chase group and settle in. I exited right around where I did the year before and knowing what kind of bike ride I was in for really helped.

On the first hill things really started to heat up with Sebastian Kienle going past the group. I was not able to stick with the strong group of riders that included Sebastian Kienle, Tyler Butterfield and Trevor Wurtele. I settled into my own pace and prepared for a long hunt to pick off people in the later part of the bike ride. I was able to minimize the amount of time I lost to the leaders. As we rode along, about two thirds of the way through I could see a big storm rolling in and we were heading right for it. As the world got darker and colder the rain came pouring down. Entering into the last 20km of the bike there was an out and back, I was able to see where I was and who was following me. I had been pulling a group of 4 people along. We then started the hardest part of the bike course riding up Snow Canyon- a 20 min climb before the last 10km descent into town. On the climb Cody Beals and a few others over took me. I held my own on the cold descent but did lose a little time as we went into the run.

As I entered into transition I was frozen and had a hard time getting into my shoes. For the first 3km I could not feel my legs or feet as I started to run down a few people. Finally as I went up the first hill my legs warmed up but my feet were just bricks. I fought with Ben Hoffman for the first 6miles but in the end he took off and I settled in to finish the race in a strong 15th place. It truly was not the result I was looking for but I improved from last year.

I will now be in Caledon for some time training for my next race on June 5 in Raleigh.