MONT-TREMBLANT IRONMAN 2015 – RACE REPORTS
Mont-Tremblant is truly a fantastic venue for an Ironman. Once again I was impressed by the organization, the volunteers and the spectators. With everyone in there, there was a lot of energy in the air.
After doing the IM 70.3 Mont-Tremblant 5x, I feIt like I knew the course really well but now that I was about do to the full, pacing myself well in the first loop was very important in order to stay as strong for the second loop. This was my 6th Ironman, my last one being Kona, Hawaii in 2012. Knowing that the race day was going to be a really warm day, I made sure to hydrate well the days prior to the race.
The day started very early at 4am. I woke up feeling great! I had breakfast and slowly walked toward the transition around 5am before heading down to the beach around 6h15am.
SWIM – One Loop – 4k – 1:15:20 – 15th in AG, 173 Gender, 959 Overall
All the Ironmans that I have done so far were a mass-start. This was a coral-start which was nice.
While waiting just before the canon went off at 7am, I felt some butterflies in my stomach but still I was feeling pretty relaxed thinking that I have done this many times before. I quickly settled into a nice steady pace. The water temperature was perfect but it was very foggy that morning and sighting the buoy with foggy goggles was very challenging. I ended up zigzagging a bit trying to stay in line with the buoy.
BIKE – 2 Loops – 180k in 5:26:09
This is where the race started!! I couldn’t get the signal on my computer to work so I did it by feel the whole way while staying focused on my hydration and my nutrition at every 5 min. I felt strong as I kept passing lots and lots of people.
T2 – 2:33
RUN – 2 Loops – 42.5 in 4:01:30
Running off the bike, my legs were very tight and at the 2k mark, I was able to find a pace I could keep up. I saw my teammates quite a few times during the run and with their support and encouragements, it really made a difference, it was awesome! During the first loop, I saw a person from my AG. She was about 200 meters in front of me but I kept going at the same pace. After the halfway point, when I passed in front of the Cervélo tent, I was told I was 4th, my chances now were very slim to qualify for Kona. I decided then to at least try to catch one and when I did I was thinking that maybe the others were not that far ahead, I eventually catched a second one. Now that I was second, I couldn’t see any women in sight but I kept running at a steady pace. After the turn around, at about 8k from the end, I hear “Go Get Her” and as I looked I realized she was the one I thought was still in front of me the whole time and now she was only 100 meters behind me. Thinking that I might be first, I picked up the pace as I was now chased by 3 women in my AG. I ran thru the water station without stopping and I kept going while I imagined the 3 still right behind me. As I entered the village, the cheers from the crowd was unbelievable!! I sprinted down the chute before crossing the finish line. I celebrated the day with a poutine and a coconut beer!
RESULTS – 10:51:37 – 1st in AG , 24th Gender, 206 overall
Qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii on October 10,2015.
This race taught me to never give up your dream and with patience and perseverance we can all achieve what seems impossible. I’m so grateful for the support I got from my family, my friends, and training partners. A special thank you to Eric Fabian Humes and Debra Lazaro, the journey leading up to this race was amazing and holds lots of great memories.
Tremblant Ironman 2015
Mt Tremblant is well known, world class ski destination just north of Montreal. What you may not know, for a week every summer this resort town is transformed into a world class Ironman destination. The walking village is riddled with fantastic restaurants, great shops and luxury hotels. All are within a short stone throw of the Ironman expo and transition. This makes for a spectators dream. Many places will offer a yummy lunch and a couple of cocktails while you wait for your athlete to pass by again.
This was my first visit to this venue and believe me, the course did impress. The race organizers have really nailed the organization. Transition is well thought out making navigation on race morning very relaxing. Well, as relaxing as one can expect. Believe me when I say my heart rate was near race pace before I hit the water. A short walk down the road you reach the beach and the swim start. A quick good-bye to my spectating posse and fellow racers and it was into the water for a warm-up. There is plenty of water right beside the start area for a good solid pre-race swim. The morning brought flat water and thick fog. The lake resembled a scene from Scooby-Doo. The fog hindered sighting a bit but also shrouded the opposite shore. I didn’t mind that. There was no “I have to swim that far…and back” feeling. Waves starts are not really my thing however, the track is wide and plotting a course through waves ahead was not too bad.
T1 is a slick procession. Again the race organizers have really thought this through. I was out onto the bike course without issue. The Mt T bike course has a bunch climbing there are no two ways about it. However, if you are cognizant of your output up these hills you can have a fast bike and still have some good legs for the marathon. The best part of going uphill is you get to go down the other side. There are several sections you can easily hit 80+km/h. The first loop on the bike was very nice. Cloud cover kept the temp at an acceptable level. Of course that would not last. As I started the second loop the sun came out and the mercury started to rise…and rise. The humidex topped out at a tad south of 40 degC that day.
T2 is a reversal of T1 and moved just as smoothly. Did I mention that the organizers have really figured this out? To say the marathon is challenging could be the biggest understatement ever uttered. The two loop course starts and ends with some pace-robbing hills. The only reprieve from the hills and heat is a flat shaded section in the middle of each loop. Before I knew it my shoes were changed and I was out on the run. Leaving T1 the heat felt like going for a run in a sauna. About 1 km into the run I was hit with the first bout of leg cramps that would pop up throughout the next 41 k. As I stood, bent over at the waist trying to stretch out my hamstrings, I looked to the curb. I was eye to eye with a small little girl. With great concern she inquired “are you ok?” I had to smile. “I’m going to be fine…Thanks” When the cramps released I got back at it. A big cheer from my little friend and her family really helped me get moving again. The end of the first fun loop brings you right down the main pedestrian road of Mt T. This spectator lined part of the course is awesome and really gives you a lift before heading out for second loop. The second loop had me popping salt pills like an addict. I probably should have bought stock in Sifto. My legs would cramp on pretty much every hill. Seeing some fellow TCOB faces on the course would briefly raise my spirits. I thank you guys for that.
The finish is beyond awesome. Down through the village that you had run 21k before however, this time you get to make that left hand turn to the finish. Instantly the suffering changed to elation and then it was over.
A huge congrats to Deb and Eric (not too sure how they looked so happy in those tough conditions), Glenn (smashed his last IM time and I think I saw him smiling on the run), Nicole (the fish) and Helen (a giant win and a trip to Hawaii).
The day was originally forecast for cooler temps with chances of thunderstorms…and totally unexpected it was sunny and VERY hot (I think somewhere it was said it hit 33 degrees)…
It made the last part of the ride and the run brutal! Out of the 2500+ athletes that started the race only 2100 crossed the finish line. I saw many athletes hanging over the sides of the roads being sick… It made a very challenging course even that much more !
I can’t speak for Roger but I am very glad to have the opportunity of starting and completing this IM as my first and proud that I had the chance to wear the BLUE and YELLOW of TCoB that day (although I didn’t do it proud with my performance…but I survived it!)
Participating in Tcob is something I dont think i could do without. It offers a hugely supportive environment creating a team atmosphere for what most people would think is an individual sport. The feeling of community at any TCOB event is so strong I think of the group as my other family... My super fit family! I am not just a better athlete for being a member but a better version of me.