IRONMAN ST. GEORGE UTAH 2011

Ironman St. George Utah 2011 takes place on Saturday May 7. The inaugural Utah Ironman took place May 1, 2010 and has quickly established a reputation as a very challenging Ironman course.

When I think about there really is no Ironman race in the world that is “not” challenging. Some are just hillier, or the water is rougher, or the temperatures are hotter.

The 2011 edition is shaping up to be a heated battle for top honors in the pro men and women ranks.

As Chrissie is nowhere on the horizon the woman’s title is sure to be hotly contested.

PRO WOMEN

HEATHER WURTLE will be back to defend her Utah Ironman title after leading last year’s race virtually from start to finish.

Heather has always been strong off the swim and bike and has been working on her run, so expect she could have a great chance at a repeat performance in Ironman St. George Utah 2011.

However, one never knows with the Ironman. Last year she had a near perfect race and everything went smoothly, but who knows what Ironman St.George, Utah 2011 has in store for her.

ironman st. george utah 2011

Utah Ironman finisher medal

Personally, I believe it is a very smart decision to spend time training at an Ironman venue when you are at the pro level. Once again Heather has done just that and has spent a month in Utah preparing for the race.

MEREDITH KESSLER has a story that is very compelling and it is very inspiring to see her move from an age-grouper to a pro over the past few years.

As usual I was at Ironman Canada doing book signings on Main Street when Meredith went roaring by to win Ironman Canada 2010 last August. It was a great performance and I hope she enjoyed the IMC course, volunteers, and spectators. I know the people of Penticton loved having her at the event.

Meredith will be competing in an amazing 40th Ironman race when the gun goes off for the start of the second Utah Ironman on Saturday May 7.

JODIE SWALLOW is last year’s Ironman 70.3 champion and Ironman St.George Utah 2011 will be her first attempt at the Ironman distance.

Jodie was also the champion of the ITU Long Course Championship in 2009 and has aspirations of making the British Olympic team and take part in the 2012 Games.

She certainly does have speed and only time will tell if Jodie has the endurance to vie for the top spot at the Ironman distance. On a positive note, at 29 years old, Jodie has many years in front of her as an Ironman and could have an amazing future. It will be no surprise to see her do very well one day in Ironman Hawaii in Kona.

Best of luck to all the pro women in Ironman St. George Utah 2011.

PRO MEN

PAUL AMBROSE is last year’s Ironman Louisville champion. He has taken up residence in Boulder, Colorado recently and feels he has been training in similar terrain that he will be facing in Saturday’s race.

Paul is sure to have some confidence going into the Utah Ironman after winning his first Ironman last year.

He is looking forward to the tough Utah course and feels it suits him very well. He claims that the man or woman who can deal with pain the best will come out on top on race day.

MAIK TWELSIEK The Ironman St.George, Utah 2011 bike course might suit Maik Twelsiek perfectly.

As he admits himself, he is no fan of completely flat courses and will not mind the ups and downs of the Utah bike course. Good thing, because he will be getting his wish.

Some cyclists are not at their best when they spend all their time laying on the aero bars and are actually at a disadvantage on the predominately flat Ironman bike courses.

It would be no surprise at all to see Maik heading out on the run course first on race day.

BEN HOFFMAN Won Ironman Lake Placid last year and this course should suit him.

Ben was also second in Utah last year so expect him to be a main contender in Ironman St.George Utah 2011.

As far back as 2004 Ben trained in the area when he first got into the sport while attending the University of Montana.

Of course they will all be chasing Austrian triathlete MICHI WEISS who will be defending the first place Ironman St.George title he captured last year.

Michi had a 13 place finish in Kona last year and will be taking another run at Ironman Hawaii in the Fall. Currently Michi lives in Colorado Springs.

He has taken on some of the best triathletes in the world in the Olympic Games and has had a great season leading up to Ironman St. George, Utah 2011.

It is going to take some doing to over-take Michi in the men’s pro division for first-place overall.

Best of luck to Michi on race-day and best of luck on his upcoming marriage on August 6 when he’ll marry fiancée Rachel Cole.

THE SWIM COURSE

The Ironman St. George 2011 swim course is a one loop, 3-left-hand-turn course that takes place in Sand Hollow Reservoir.

Personally when I was doing Ironman races quite a lot I never did like counter-clockwise courses, but it seems that for some reason many of them are configured that way.

It was simply because I was more comfortable breathing to the right and was able to sight the course markers more easily.

Most likely it is because of the amount of room there is on the beach for the swim start.

I know that when I did the inaugural and second Ironman Couer d’alene races that the swim was clock-wise and then was changed to counter-clockwise for some reason.

THE BIKE COURSE

The elevation map chart speaks for itself and many who are entered in Ironman St. George Utah 2011 will be tested on this bike course.

It can be doubly hard if it ends up being a hot, dry day.

It’s a two-loop course as many of the Ironman courses tend to be these days. I suppose the reason for that is it’s easier to manage road closures and requires less aid stations.

Just the same, Ironman Canada has a great bike course and is one loop and somehow it seems to make the bike more difficult when you have to re-trace your steps.

Maybe that’s why I did Ironman Canada 10 times.

I have to say though that I did really enjoy the Ironman Coeur d’alene course and it was two loops.

THE RUN COURSE

The bike/run transition in will take place in St. George’s historic Town Square.

The run course is hilly as well and once the athletes survive the bike, they will have a challenging run course between them and the finish line of Ironman St. George, Utah 2011.

When I looked at the elevation chart it speaks for itself and the run course is anything but flat. The two-loop marathon course will begin by heading out for a climb toward Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.

The run course will take the athletes through Pioneer Park, neighborhoods along Diagonal Street, with a turnaround point located at Main and Tabernacle Streets.

The finish line of Iroman St Georege, Utah 2011 is alongside Heritage Tower with a backdrop of downtown St. George.

Best of luck to all of you who are entered in the Utah Ironman and may the Iron Gods smile upon you and keep you safe and help you to the finish line.

IRONSTRUCK RACE RESULTS

Be sure to visit Ironman.com for race updates.

 

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