St. George 70.3 Race Recap

I can’t it has already been over a week since St. George 70.3 and I still don’t have this race recap up. Race weekend usually leaves me a bit behind with coaching responsibilities and all the other little pieces involved with running Where Your Feet Take You that I feel like this is the first time I have kind of caught up and now have a few minutes to give you a solid race recap.

St. George was my second race of the season and one that I had been very much looking forward to when I signed up many months ago. I have heard so many great things about the city and the race that I felt I had to see it for myself. Well race week rolled around and in full honesty I was really unsure as to whether this race would go well at all. April was a really brutal month for me physically, mentally, and emotionally. Imagine waking up the next morning after a night out on the town with your good friend Jose Cuervo (you know we’ve all had them) where you didn’t come home till about 3 am and maybe found some half eaten cheese pizza and nachos left over on the stove…. how do you feel? That is how I felt for the entire month of April, as though I spent the entire month with my head buried in a tequila bottle. Not very conducive to a good attitude and strong training. The extreme nausea left me barely able to eat, I didn’t have any food aversions or anything that made me vomit I merely couldn’t eat anything, I hated the idea of all foods. That hate for food transferred into a hate for everything around me. Couple all of that with an extreme lack of motivation, exhaustion, and lethargy you can imagine how my workouts went and felt. You can also image how I was from a mental standpoint… not much fun to be around…. because I had nothing positive to say I spent the entire month just not really saying anything because in reality the only words that I wanted to say where “I hate everything, I hate everyone, and this sucks and is really stupid”.

But this is not about the extremity of my negativity and disgust that filled the month of April but rather the start of a change in mindset and change in energy that was St. George.


I went into St. George with very little expectations; with a combination of a lack of training in April coupled with having thrown my back out (so badly I couldn’t even stand up straight or walk) only a week before the race I really was not sure how this was going to go. I told myself I was going to go into this race with only one thought, be in it to win it and then just see what happens. I don’t really have a switch that does anything but balls to the walls when it comes to racing so whether I was prepared or not that was the only way I was going to go into the race.

We arrived in St. George pretty early as I always like to be at the venue early so I don’t have to rush around and we had an extra day to check-in slowly, put my bike together, and check out the swim start all without feeling rushed.

Despite having had plenty of time Pre-race set up was a little bit crazy. I am normally the person who prefers to be a hermit when it comes to pre-race. I don’t like to go to activities, or meet with people, or have a bunch of things to do. I like to focus, stay quiet, and within my own space so that I can mentally prepare for the day a lot of people don’t like it but it is my process and that’s just the way it is.

However, with needing to get a swim in, photo shoot with Justin Luau, and coordinate between the two different transitions all of the sudden i realized I had been out and about and on my feet almost all day the day before. Totally not like me, but it was how the day went so I just had to roll with it.

In standard fashion I am going to jump straight to the swim and race day components because my race morning is nothing special, I wake up, eat my food, head to transition, set up my transition, and get ready to race that is about it.


Thank the lord for good friends who let you borrow their wet suit when you no longer fit in yours…. While I have not gained a lot of weight, I think only like 5-7 ish lbs so far, my body composition has changed with my boobs getting bigger, hips having gotten bigger, and everything is just not as lean as I normally am I do not fit well in my small Roka wet suit. Luckily one of my athletes and friend, Mel, allowed me to borrow her medium Roka wet suit and it made all the difference in the world for my comfort level in the water.

While the water temperature was only registering around 62 degrees F that morning it didn’t feel all that cold, brief shock at first but quickly dissipated as I got moving. The water was also really beautiful, crystal clear to the point that you can almost see your watch face while you are swimming. Despite not having really produced any great swimming during the month of April I still wanted to go out strong and see if I could hang in there with the faster crowd so I stuck myself in the 30 minute group with the hopes that I would be able to hang onto that 30 minute time I have been so desperately wanting to obtain. My swim started out really great, strong, smooth, and I felt like I was right on track to hit that 30 minute mark or at least very close to it. However, I could not hold onto it. Somewhere around the 1200 yd mark I could feel my form slipping and my speed decreasing, I went from staying up with the group and passing people to being passed. I really attribute this to a couple of things 1) my lack of swim training during April and 2) needing more oxygen than normal due to the baby.

Other than that this swim went really smooth and there isn’t all that much to report about it

Swim: 33 minutes


I was a little dizzy coming out of the water which made it hard for me to get out of my wetsuit. Thank you to the wet suit strippers for basically doing it all for me!


I really loved this bike course. I was under the impression it was going to be really tough and while Snow Canyon is for sure a hard portion of it this bike course is very fast still whatever goes up must come down!! Some of the descents were really fast, holy smokes, I think at one point I hit speeds of 41 mph which is smoking fast.

The bike was fairly uneventful for me. I was stuck around this group of older men that I did not really enjoy being around because it seemed whenever I would try to pass them or anything like that they would just all take off again to get around me and then ease up as they surrounded me. It was like no matter what I did I was always playing cat and mouse, not my favorite thing to do.

I have very little connection with my baby, something that I have really been struggling with however something that I am realizing a lot of women go through but are afraid to speak out about because they are afraid of people saying shameful things to them about the way they feel or looking down on them for these feelings, but that is a story for another time. However, for the first time in the pregnancy there was a mini connection found on the bike during St. George. At one point I told Baby Raspberry it was time to go fast because we had goals to chase and it was amazing I instantly increased my power output by around 5-10 watts and instantly became stronger and I very much believe that Baby Raspberry was listening to me. It was the one and only time that I felt a connection with Baby that was outside of the fact that I was merely a home for Baby to grow. Baby Raspberry was telling me exactly what I have been saying to everyone, it is time for us to go chase our dreams and we will do it no matter what anyone else says.

Snow Canyon was just as everyone predicted and stated, tough. As I had moved into the climb I was starting to experience some stomach cramping and while I was pretty darn sure it was due to the fact that I had to pee extremely bad I wasn’t going to risk it with Baby Raspberry on board, so I did not hammer up Snow Canyon merely just got up it as steady as I could. Fun fact about me, I CANNOT pee on the bike!!! Even when I have to so bad it is making my stomach cramp, I even got up out of aero, gripped the handles and physically said out load GO PEE KAYLA and would not pee. Luckily we only had about 10 more miles till transition and I was pretty sure I’d be fine.

Bike: 2:36


Thank the lord I can go pee!!! T2 went very smoothly and would have been screaming fast if I hadn’t have had to use the porta - let.


Holy hell!!! For those who have ever said that St. George was hard due to the bike forgot to mention the run. I have never run a harder half marathon course in my life. This run definitely separates the men from the boys as my dad likes to say. From the get go you immediately started going up and you just keep going up.

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It was supposed to be very hot that day but I didn’t feel as though it got super hot till after I was done with the race, which worked out perfectly. While I was hoping to have been able to put down a much more solid run I focused on just maintaining strength and consistent pace throughout the entire run. It wasn’t necessarily my most beautiful run but I was very happy to have been able to just hang in there with a really strong pace, keeping one foot in front of the other. Even though it was a one loop course the spectators for this race where really fabulous, coming out all over the place to cheer and keep everyone’s spirits up it was really awesome!!

I got to the top of one of the hills and ran into my mom who had hiked up to the top of it so that she could cheer us on, I love having my family at these races because it makes it so much more fun they always spread out so that I can see them at multiple different spots.

Surprisingly for how tough this run was it seemed to go by very quickly, all of the sudden I was at the eight mile mark which for me means the race is basically over as long as I can get myself to the eight mile mark I know that I can run four more miles no matter what. Thankfully the last 2-3 miles where all downhill, something my knees and hips would feel the next day, so I was able to stretch my legs a bit and pick up the pace.


Run: 1:35

I had three goals going into the race 1) stay in the top five, 2) keep my time under five hours, and 3) be as tough as I possibly could. No matter what happened on this day I am proud to say that I was able to accomplish all three goals for this race despite not really having a great prep into it. Truthfully I spent a few minutes being very bummed that I got edged out for 3rd place, due to the rolling start it was really hard to keep track of everyone who I needed to either be faster than or pass and we weren’t able to keep track of one girl who ended up being just about 20-30 seconds faster than me in the run. I was very disappointed in that I know for a fact I could have been faster but then I had to remind myself that I am 11 weeks pregnant and not many others out there can do what I just did at the stage of pregnancy and I should be DAMN proud of that. Guess what… I was and I am!!! One of my goals during this pregnancy, and really just in life in general, is to break through the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding women that they aren’t tough enough, strong enough, fast enough, and they sure as hell can’t do any of this while pregnant. This is all bull shit in my opinion and I will change it.

As always, Thank you to everyone for your continued support not only during my racing but in everyday as well. It may not seem like it but the support, cheer, and love that you all give me on a daily basis keeps me going even when I don’t want to. You are one of my biggest motivators and I couldn’t be more grateful to you!


Kayla Bowker