Rudy Von Berg wasn’t going to run the St. George 70.3. The 25-year-old, who attends the University of Colorado-Boulder, had the race on his calendar but was fighting off the pain that would have kept him out of the race. But, on Monday, Von Berg felt no pain and made the quick decision to compete in the 70.3.
Three hours and 49 minutes later, that decision paid off as Von Berg took first among the pro men at the IRONMAN St. George 70.3. Bart Aernouts and Jackson Laundry finished second and third, respectively.
“Obviously, pretty happy I decided to race,” Von Berg said. Rounding out the top five finishers are Salt Lake City native Stephen Kilshaw in fourth and Boulder native Sam Long. Von Berg and Eric Langerstrom led the pack of pro triathletes coming out of the water, but Von Berg jumped into the lead after Langerstrom dropped a bottle he had to go back and retrieve. Once Langerstrom had to vacate his spot in the lead, Von Berg pushed the pace throughout his KOne and going into the run. The result was Von Berg sitting in a consistent three-minute lead for most of the race. He finished three minutes and 21 second ahead of Aernouts. “I pretty much never saw anyone,” Von Berg said. “I figured I would be in the lead in one point for sure. Maybe not three and a half minutes for sure.”