#26: 3 days out….Arrival, St. George

“Welcome to St. George, Utah……the temperature is 75 degrees and the sky is clear…..special welcome to athletes who are participating in the Ford Ironman on Saturday……remember to hydrate.”  and those were the parting words of the flight attendant as we stepped out of the little plane that jumped us from Salt Lake where there were snow capped peaks to St. George, which looks more like the setting for a Wile E. Coyote cartoon than a place where people should be trying to traverse 140.6 miles on human power……oh, how I’m hoping to feel like the roadrunner.  About the easiest way to describe it is:  BIG AND BEAUTIFUL!  Lots of open terrain, lots of hills and some mountains in the distance, that, unfortunately seem to be the ones that gave this race it’s notorious reputation, and thus hills and mountains that I will be getting rather intimate with (maybe some pics tomorrow).  So far things seem to be about what I expected…..some shock, some awe, a little doubt a small rental car and a latte with wi-fi at Starbucks (my travel indulgence) where I currently sit.
Met another athlete in the airport who told me she’s hearing of 20 mph winds on Saturday (after a calm 4 mph breeze all week).  Ouch.  This is actually the first bad news that I’ve heard……but the ray of hope (maybe) is that the winds change a lot, so “don’t trust the forecast”.
The plan for the remainder of the day is to do a little shopping for the race essentials that I couldn’t pack in a carry-on, find out EXACTLY when my gear will be available (see no whammies), where it is and how to get it…….find my accommodations and perhaps go check out the run portion of the course (and maybe even give it a go) and then start fueling…..what’s on the menu you ask? carbs with water seasoned with water and carbs and some swimming in the chill tomorrow (assuming my wetsuit arrives).
FYI TRACKING:  Anyone who’s interested, in addition to following the play by plan on Pro-Activity’s FB page, the last update I got from the race folks stated that there was a tracking page on the Ironmanlive website.  I think THIS LINK will take you there, but it doesn’t give any indication that it’s the St. George race and the first time I tried it, I got results from Louisville, KY race from 2010…..so who knows.
OK, time to get down to some serious google mapping and figure out how to get around this place!
More tomorrow,
Mike E