The quiet roads, serene lakes and endless running trails make St. George, Utah, a hot spot for a weekend of training or racing.
This article was originally published in the March/April 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.
Take on the challenge of the full-turned-Ironman 70.3 St. George course (May 4, Ironman.com). The scenic red bluffs throughout Snow Canyon State Park might take your mind off the 2,500-plus feet of climbing you’ll tackle in 56 miles.
Prefer the shorter stuff? Two sister events, the SG Tri on May 18 and Kokopelli on Sept. 14, offer sprint, Olympic and even kids’ distances also held at Sand Hollow State Park (Bbsctri.com).
Reward your efforts with one of the creative menu options at the Bear Paw Café (Bearpawcafe.com)—the Bear Paw French Toast is stuffed with spiced apples, vanilla or chocolate brûleé cream, and the Forgotten Baked Apple combines Granny Smith apples with vanilla, brown sugar, granola, cranberries and ice cream.
If you’re in town for a training weekend, test out the 70.3 bike course, suggests professional triathlete Heather Wurtele, who parks her and her husband Trevor’s RV in St. George for four months of the year. “We love the quiet roads around Sand Hollow Reservoir, and the ride up to Kolob Reservoir in Zion National Park is fantastic for those who want even more climbing,” she says.
Grab a cup of joe at River Rock Roasting Company (Riverrockroasters.com) if you’re headed toward Zion, or try the local Perks Espresso and Smoothies (1515 W. Sunset Blvd.).
For dinner plans—with the exception of your pre-race meal—try Benja’s Thai Garden (Benjathai.com), where Wurtele says the Musaman curry and chicken pad thai are must-orders. For all-you-can-eat sushi, she says Ichiban Japanese Seafood Buffet (Ichibanjapaneseseafoodbuffet.com) is hard to beat.
Run for hours on compact sand and red dirt by heading out Warner Valley Road from Washington Fields toward the Grand Canyon. There are also plenty of trails in Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, Snow Canyon and other local state parks (Sgcity.org/parks).
Recover with a yoga class, climb the rock wall or swim laps at Utah’s largest aquatic center at the Washington City Community Center ($6 aquatic/$7 full facility, Washingtoncity.org/communitycenter).
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