Ironwoman: Local outlasts 29 competitors to become 1 of 13 finishers of this year’s Ironman World Championships
At the Ironman World Championships in St. George, Utah on Saturday, May 7, the race could be best described as a suffer fest.
Hordes of competitors failed to finish the course under the 17-hour time cutoff after a majority of the triathletes had trouble overcoming the heat and challenging course.
Only 30% of the men’s elite pro field finished the race, and just 13 of 33 competitors finished in the women’s 60-64 age category.
Among the women in the 60-64 age division was Summit resident Nancy Peters, 63, who crossed the finish line in time 15 hours, 30 minutes, and 45 seconds to place fifth.
Usually the Ironman World Championships are held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, every year but due to the pandemic, the event was canceled in 2020 and moved to St. George, Utah for the 2021 championship event.
The course in St. George is much more challenging than the set course in Kona as both the bike and the run portion feature hilly terrain, which makes it hard to get in a good rhythm and fatigues the body at a rapid rate. Add in that St. George has an average high of 86 degrees in May, and it is no surprise that many triathletes failed to finish the multi-hour race.
“I knew it was going to be a really tough race, and I certainly was not disappointed,” Peters said. “I knew the bike course was going to be 7,700 feet of elevation gain, so I knew that was going to be tough.”
Peters, who is used to training at 9,000 feet, was able the outlast the course to place the highest she ever has at an Ironman world championship event. She placed 20th in her age division at her first world championships back in 2018.
Peters qualified for her first Ironman World Championships by placing first in her age division at the Ironman Boulder race in 2018.
In St. George, Peters completed the the 2.4-mile swim in 1:19:44, the 112-mile bike ride in 8:24:11, and the full marathon distance run (26.2-miles) in 5:33:52.
“It was a good week. The race was Saturday, and considering 20% of the people didn’t finish, I am pretty happy,” Peters said.
Peters, who will turn 64 later this year, qualified for this world championship event back in 2021 when she placed third in her age division at Ironman Cozumel with a time of 12:27:01.
Since qualifying, Peters has meticulously been putting in 10 to 15 hours of hard training in and around Summit County to prepare for the Ironman World Championships in St. George.
“I put in about 10 to 15 hours of actual training, but there is also a lot of time spent researching, reading and giving feedback to my coach, Abby Crew,” Peters said. “There are a lot of details in triathlons.”
Living in Dillon since 2013, Peters is also trained locally by Crew, who has been training elite to novice athletes for over nine years.
Peters conducted most of her training for the St. George Ironman over this past winter on the Front Range in order to avoid the snow and ice, but she routinely visited the Silverthorne Recreation Center in order to get her swim training in.
When the weather starts to warm up around the county, you can find Peters logging miles on the network of roads and paths that Summit County has to offer. You’ll also find her dipping into North Pond in a wetsuit in order to prepare for upcoming races.
The 2022 Ironman World championships will take place later this year in October, but Peters barely missed a qualifying spot in order to attend her third world championship event.
Peters will still compete through the end of the year. She plans to race in the Boulder 73.3 Ironman in August and in the Ironman Arizona in November.
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