Last time I updated was from the sidelines. Good news: I’m back!
I came away with a win at this weekend Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3 event.
For a quick recap, watch the video above. For more juicy details, read on:
I am writing on our way home from Quebec where I was able to experience the Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3 over the weekend. Due to some unfortunate circumstances I have spent the past few months dealing with a dose of physical adversity. I had to look at this challenge as an opportunity rather than a downfall. About 2 weeks ago, Mont-Tremblant was announced as the venue for next years 70.3 Worlds. To have the opportunity to put it through the paces before next year seemed like a perfect way to test the waters and get back to racing again.
This was our first visit to the area and it lived up to all the expectations. I have heard some people say that an Ironman comes to town and takes over the town. Well let me tell you, Tremblant has come to Ironman and taken over the race. I love a course with a few features: beautiful venue, tough competition, a challenging & fair course, lively atmosphere. The race organization rolled out the red carpet (literally!) for all the athletes and made everyone feel like numero uno.
The swim started in Lake Tremblant - but first there was the bag-piper, an opera singing anthem and a giant cannon to start it all off. Told you they were doing it up right! I had a decent start and as we sorted ourselves out I found myself at a comfy pace. Close to the first turn buoy I noticed a gap had formed and about 100 yards up the lake was Mighty Magali - the hometown hero. I took confidence in the big swims I have been doing and took a risk. I tapped into that 5th gear and started closing the gap. Giving myself an internal high-five I kept it turning over and found myself in Mag’s bubbles, and she was nice enough to pull me in the rest of the way. Thank you TYR for the main pack swim!
It was a long run on the red carpet to T1 and we were off on the beautiful bike course. There was so much green everywhere, it took my mind off the up and down terrain. The first part of the course has some nice gradual climbs and I found some rhythm and tried to hold back as I knew the back half of the course is the most challenging. I spent a good amount of time at the front of the race and pushed the pace as I knew there we some fleet footed ladies behind us. We passed through Tremblant with about 15 miles to go and headed out on the last part of the course. The energy from the crowds was huge - and it lifted me up the first climb out of town. I pushed up the climb and realized I had put a gap into Mags - I knew I had to make my move now and go. The last portion of the course is like a video game - I was in “pedal to the medal” mode - up/down/around the bend/up/down/out of the saddle/down/up. It was a ton of fun and a ton of hard. Thank you Trek, Bontrager, CLIF Bar, Giro, Speedplay, SRAM & Quarq for the fastest bike split.
I entered T2 with some room to breathe on my competitors - phew! The scary part was I had no clue how much time and I also knew I had a hilly run in front of me. One foot in front of the other, this would be my longest run in 2 months. Yippee! The first 5k was very spectator friendly and very hilly - the middle 10k is on a lush packed gravel trail and I was prepared for that to be mentally challenging as not a whole lot is going on out there. I caught a glimpse of the other pro women at the turn and held it together as best I could. It was great to see all the competitors as I headed back to town on the gravel trail. The spirit that Quebec brought to the event set a new standard. It lifted me up as I tackled the final 5k of hills and back into the village of Tremblant. The race finishes running down into the village and the energy of the crowds and the amount of people packed onto the cobblestone road made that last uphill climb all worth it. Thank you Saucony for the fleet-feet & to Jess for the race-weekend support. I gave out a fair amount of high-fives and embraced that finish carpet. Phew! I made it!
I sent the race organization a note today about my sentiments on the event. Dominique has raised the bar as far as event organization and the spirit of Ironman goes. Add this race to your bucket list. A big thank you to everyone that took time to cheer for me, to the volunteers, to my competition for bringing out the best in me & to the organization for this great event.
Just a quick note of thanks to my wonderful sponsors who have shown unwavering support. I also have a nice support team that has really stepped it up this past few months. Thanks to: Matt, Dr. Ball, Jeff T., Ma & Pa P for the extra push to persevere onwards! Lastly to Chris - his patience, passion and persistence make me a better person. xoxo
Onwards we march… I will see you all next at Vineman 70.3.
Thanks for reading,