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Hello, St. George! « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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Hello, St. George!

To fly to St. George, the closest big airport is…

Viva Las Vegas!

Viva Las Vegas!

Where there are slot machines right by the baggage claims…

winner winner chicken dinner!

winner winner chicken dinner!

and flashy ads for all kinds of entertainment Las Vegas has to offer!

there is also the Thunder from Down Under ;)

there is also the Thunder from Down Under ;)

Then it’s just a 90-minute drive through a little corner of Arizona and into Utah. The city of St. George is gearing up for their very first Ironman!

clear the roads, Ironman is coming!

clear the roads, Ironman is coming!

It’s really beautiful here, I took a lot of pictures while previewing the bike course yesterday, but they don’t really do much justice…

red rocks everywhere!

red rocks everywhere!

Here is the view from my wonderful homestay; the bike course literally goes right by this neighborhood in Ivins (about 9 miles northwest of town):

beautiful!

beautiful!

Part of what makes this homestay so wonderful is what’s on the inside…of the freezer. I like to help perpetuate the rumor that pro triathletes can eat ice cream every day and still be skinny. ;)

theres 9 flavors in there!  only 22 short of Baskin Robbins

there's 9 flavors in there! only 22 short of Baskin Robbins

No, seriously, the wonderful part is the family I’m staying with. Jenifer, her adorable 6-year-old son Landon, and her sister Erin.  Jenifer’s the recycling coordinator for the county and also captain of one of the run aid stations–the locals are all really excited to bring on the first edition of Ironman St. George.

theres a small Post-It that says Dont Touch. I was very tempted. So many dials!

there's a small Post-It that says "Don't Touch". I was very tempted. So many buttons and dials!

This morning Jenifer took me to the local radio station conglomerate, Cherry Creek Radio, which is sponsoring the Ironman as one of the media partners.  We got interviewed by FOUR radio stations!  It was my first time being on the radio!

Jenifer ON AIR

Jenifer ON AIR

Jenifer put a plug out for volunteers (the race still needs volunteers!), especially for her run aid station at mile 3, and I got asked all kinds of questions about doing Ironman and being a professional triathlete.

hey Mom, Im on the radio!

hey Mom, I'm on the radio!

It was really funny because I’m so used to being around people who already know all about Ironman. So a lot of basic questions about how long each discipline is, how long it takes to finish, and pretty much every DJ said something like “I can’t do that…I get tired walking to my car!”

you dont have to look good to be on the radio, but its hard for the Wongstar not to be ;)

you don't have to look good to be on the radio, but some of us just can't avoid it.

Two of the DJ’s asked for my autograph! Triathlon superstars always oblige:

hanging out at the Jon Smith Morning Show

hanging out at the Jon Smith Morning Show

Clearly disc jockey Jon Smith is famous himself, having his own morning show…so we did an autograph exchange. He signed a shirt for his radio station, Sunny 106.1.

an autograph for an autograph

an autograph for an autograph

All the DJ’s loved that my alias is “The Wongstar”.

Go Wongstar! yeah!

Go Wongstar! yeah!

Athletes are starting to trickle into town. At the pool today I had a new experience…when I finished swimming, the woman in the next lane over asked “Are you the Wongstar?”  Whoa, superstardom!  Who says I’m not a big deal?  Thank you, Colleen from Wisconsin, you made my day!  I had my swim cap on and I was still recognizable?? The Wongstar is still learning to get used to fame and everything that goes with it. ;)

More to come from race week as it unfolds…

Please leave your comments on the forum.