The terrain is by far a lot tougher than AZ. I'd rate IMAZ as the second most "forgiving" Ironman course in the USA (second to FL). To rate the two, I'd say IMAZ is about a 5 out of 10, and IMSG would be a 9 out of 10. And another factor is the weather conditions. Last year the weather was near perfect (for St. George). It's very common for the winds to be extremely strong in SG that time of year. In fact, the swim start is in a city called Hurricane...they don't call it that for nothing!
However, if you've been training the distance, I'd go for it. Just start to incorporate a ton of hills in your bike and run training immediately. Oh, and the water temps will be about 60 degrees, so I recommend a skull cap too.
Go for it and good luck! And it's rare for a USA IM to be open 4 months before the race date so take advantage of it!
If you haven't seen this yet check it out...its not the gospel its food for thought.... ... tons of variables ...
RunTri analyzed nearly 50,000 triathletes competing in 25 Ironman distance triathlons to answer the question: which Ironman triathlon is hardest? Easiest? Results: Top 5 Toughest Ironman Races: Kona, St. George, Wisconsin, Malaysia, Louisville, China.
Jump in the water is great. As I said elsewhere this is the hardest course out of the 6 I've done and that includes Kona. But hey wouldn't you like to say you done one of the hardest?
I looked at those same charts when I was considering this race for 2011, but despite all of their claims to the data's accuracy, I think that with missing variables their results are somewhat deceptive when it comes to St. George. The course is hard, so don't think all the talk is inaccurate, but that bar chart will shrink once St. George has been run a time or two more. Last year being its first year, racers are just getting to be informed on the venue itself. Before then only a fraction of participants had scouted the course. Racers going into the 2011 event are going to be more knowledgeable about what gear to have, how to take on certain course obstacles, and how to train. Course notoriety is a big factor in who shows up and how people race, so it is to be expected that age-group times will drop quite a bit, probably by at least 30 minutes across the board (yeah, pretty wild!).
Just watch, last year's voice is that it was the hardest in North America, but after this May 7th a new set of participants who were probably attracted exactly by the idea that this is tough for an Ironman will have many more positive things to say, maybe dooming 2012'ers in the process ;D .. Then again, maybe it will rain the whole day and a local storm will cause headwinds the entire time. Whatever its difficulty against other races, once you register it is real and you'll know what to do to make it easy!
It will be interesting to see how the age group times change this year. I know i'm hoping to drop an hour the second time around, but I'd be surprised to see average times drop by 30 minutes.
And yeah, the wind will be a huge factor. If we've got one of those 25mph winds from the south days, that ride back from Veyo is going to seem like 40 miles instead of 20.
I keep thinking (knock on wood) about the conditions the day after the race last year. Huge winds, blowing rain and sleet on the course. If we'd have had those conditions last year registration would be down 50% instead of 20% I'll bet. The DNF numbers would have been off the charts.
well i have done both
i am not fast
i did imaz in 2009 in 15.23
even walking most of the marathon
did imsg last year and my 1st even dnf
water cold hilly bike and even more hilly run
that being said it spost to be hard its a ironman LOL
im headed back to IMSG this year and will finush (-:
also doing IMAZ this year and will PR
just do lots of hill on the bike and ruuning for IMSG and you will rockl it
I had a chance to drive the Bike and Run course last week. I have been Trying for the past eleven years. My only Ironman's have been Florida in 2000 and 2010. For the swim Sand hollow is a pristine blue-green reservouir. The day I visited winds were 20 gust to thirty- five it was a cauldron of waves and white caps. Very challenging but I have swam in those conditions in Texas and survived. The Bike I found to be Challenging with some small steep hills and some long climbs, but with the beautiful scenery to take your mind off the pain. I am looking forward to it. Not too intimidating. The run is going to be the tough part.Not a flat part on it. Plenty of short steep hills greater then 10 % and some long steady climbs of 8 %. The hills are steep enough that it will be hard work going up and possibly harder to go down. My legs hurt just driving the course. That being said, it's all about the training. I know now what I have to do, and I will be ready on race day.My prediction is it will take 30 minutes to an hour more to finish this course versus a relatively flat one like Arizona or Florida. My overall impression was: it is a beautiful and challenging course and I can't wait to test myself against it.
I am glad that my first IM WI was up at the top and I so glad I chose an "easier one" for my second IMFL!
Glad you said "easier", because no matter the course, none of them are "easy"