Thursday, September 5, 2019

Kona Profile #3: Laura Yost [Still the] Host with the Most

The Ironman World Championships ("Kona") will be here before we know it, taking place Oct. 12th. As you know, it's incredibly competitive to qualify and a major accomplishment to do so. As we've done the last 3 years now, we'll be catching up with our local Cinderellas... getting to know them better as a tri community and cheering them on as they get ready for the ball!

Laura and Gentry Yost live in Pocatello, but Utah and Idaho triathletes are increasingly getting to know each other (which is a great thing!) and we want to give credit where credit is due. First up is Laura, and we'll soon catch up with her husband as well.

Name:     Laura Yost

Age Group:    F4044

Qualified:     Ironman Arizona

Qualifying AG Place & Time:   1st   10:17:38

Splits:     Swim 1:15  Bike 5:11  Run 3:42

Check out Laura's Kona Profile from last year for more background info.

Why did you choose Ironman Arizona as your Kona qualifying race last year, and what were your thoughts on the venue & race in general?

We decided to do Arizona because it had been many years since we had raced there. Arizona ironman was my first full I ever did so I was curious how different my times would be. I have done Arizona now 3 times and have enjoyed it each year. I love the area and the weather!

IM Arizona has a reputation as being an "easy" Ironman... agree/disagree, and what advice would you have for any locals racing there this year?

I am not sure any Ironman is “easy”. Depending on how hard you choose to push yourself it can be challenging. I was more sore after doing Arizona than I was after an Ironman with tons of climbing. My challenge is to hold steady power without changing positions. I favor courses with climbs because I get to change muscle groups. I would say Arizona is a great first race for those looking for gentle terrain, spectator friendly, and predictable.

How many spots were awarded for your age group at Arizona, and how aware of your position were you throughout the day? Did you have to dig extra deep to hold your KQ spot or was there enough cushion to be relatively comfortable? When did you know you for sure had it in the bag?

There were 2 spots available. I was told at the turn around in town that I had 3 or 4 women ahead of me. As I was coming into transition off the bike I knew I had just 1 woman to chase down. I passed her within the first 3 miles I believe.

I didn’t know if she was a runner so I kept a steady pace and didn’t waste any time at aid stations. I received word maybe around 18-19 miles that I had a good lead and should continue to push for an overall spot. At that point I admit I was getting tired and was happy with 5th overall. I simply stayed steady to keep this position.

What races have you done this year and how has your training gone?

I have done 1 sprint, 1 olympic (TriUtah's East Canyon), 1 half. I started my training a bit late this year due to a hamstring surgery in December. I have had to remain very patient and humble. Considering when I started to train I think I am in a good spot right now.

Qualifying last November makes for a long wait for Kona... have you enjoyed having the extra time to think and get excited about it or do you prefer a shorter time frame like you had last year with Boulder (qualifying in June)?

I planned Arizona with the hope of qualifying early so that I could take some time to have surgery. I knew it would be a slow winter which was very hard for my brain to accept. I do not remember ever taking that much time off so it was rough, but necessary.

I have been competing with high hamstring tendinopathy for years. I wanted to try less invasive treatments that would allow me to continue training. I finally decided on surgery after I qualified in Arizona.

Ironman Boulder 2018

Do you feel more pressure for the KQ attempt Ironman or the actual IM World Champs race?

Oh qualifying for sure! I never walk into any race wanting to “just finish” … I will push my very hardest at Worlds, but Kona is a different beast. Kona seems predictable with the heat and wind but it really can vary year to year and so can your body’s own reaction to the elements. I truly believe last year on the bike was a gift and one we might not see again. The wind was low on the bike but hotter on the run. It is always challenging!

You took 17th for planet Earth in your age group at Kona last year... what are your goals for this year?

Again I really don’t put too much thought into placement in Kona. Instead I will put all my energy into the small details, quality sessions, and a good taper leading up. I feel my fitness is even better this season, and my run is feeling more like my old self. I had some mechanical issues at the end of the bike last year which I felt cost me some time so I am hoping for a solid race. Would I like to take top 10….? Yes of course!

What, if anything, do you plan to do differently this go around at Kona vs. last year?

I am a creature of habit. Gentry and I pretty much follow the same pre-race schedule and nutrition for all races. Kona is unique because of the humidity and heat so we will adjust electrolyte needs accordingly.

Will you be gunning for Kona again in 2020, and where do you hope to qualify? What are your thoughts on the new St. George race/course?

I will race Arizona again this year hoping to qualify. The timing worked very well for me last year, in fact I felt stronger for Arizona then I did in Kona. I will then race St George because I have never done the full there and need to take advantage while it is being offered. Honestly, I have no idea what the new course looks like. I haven’t researched it yet. I would have been happy to do the old course too! I like to bike and run hills so I am just excited to have the opportunity to do it with tons of locals and friends.

If you're doing St. George, we're getting a friendly competition going with teams based on geography... would you be willing to rep an Idaho team, and who else would be on that squad with you? (people of all abilities, not just elites - anyone wanting to rep the North!)

My current team consists of only 3 athletes….Gentry, Jorge, and myself. I don’t know of any others yet but I will start recruiting! Would I be into a friendly competition? Have you seen Gentry and Jorge race?? Yeah I will take that challenge!

EDITOR'S NOTE: For our fun St. George team competition, anyone and everyone is welcome to participate. The teams are expected to break down something like this:

  • "The North" (Idaho and/or separate Northern UT team?)
  • Davis County
  • SLC West (of I-15)
  • SLC East
  • Wasatch Back
  • Utah County
  • "The South" (St. George/So. UT)
  • Possibly others as well

Lots of interest so far, message us if you want to join the fun and we'll connect you with others on the teams!

uh oh... defending UT state champion Jorge de Amorim Filho
(AKA Doctor Delicious) now reps "The North"





Below are links to all the races in the 2019 Championship Series:
Below are links to all Challenger Races:

We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising a few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 3 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.



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