Ironman Mont-Tremblant - TriathlonFull Ironman

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Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
World Triathlon Corporation
Total Time = 12h 18m 36s
Overall Rank = 1027/2542
Age Group = M50-54
Age Group Rank = 109/285
Pre-race routine:

Wow, I haven't written a true race report in a couple of years. Here goes, but I'm gonna start by putting this race in a big picture perspective. I escaped from the emotional devastation of a separation in 2010 by training and racing my ass off that season and had a good year. In 2011 my divorce was finalized and my dog had to be put down in the same week, followed by my Dad dying a few weeks later. All of this finally caught up with me and I crashed and burned...I still raced Ironman Canada last year but had to pull out on the run due to GI issues related to having a poor (a.k.a. none) nutrition strategy. From the time I got off the bike at Penticton I literally didn't touch my bike until April 2012. And even then, my bike volume was pathetic most of this summer. I managed to squeeze in an 80, 90 and 100 miler in July/early Aug. For those that have been around BT for a while you know that I have had a lot of nutrition issues with my IM races which caused me to DNF in 3 of my previous 8 races since 2006. I contacted a nutrition coach this summer and she provided me with an excellent race nutrition protocol that I practiced on these long rides. Ideally, I would have practiced them all summer but I didn't receive the plan until July. I managed to get some running in every month but it was highly erratic volume and I didn't run a single step of intensity all summer in training. I got in a handful of open water swims this summer and my overall swim volume was much less than it should have been. June was an absolute joke as far as s/b/r training goes. So, with all of that I had zero expectations going into this race. I treated it as a rebuilding year with the thought that next year I'll get back to being serious.

We flew into Montreal on Thursday and rented a car for the short drive to Mont Tremblant and picked up some groceries on the way up. The condo we rented was a short walk to the ped village and the race venue. I got to the athlete check-in fairly early on Friday and got that taken care of. I wanted to get a swim in Friday but never got around to it so we did a short run after picking up my bike from Tribiketransport.

I have met quite a few BT'ers over the years, especially those in MN and WI. However, there are a couple of old BT vets like myself that I have always wanted to meet. Fred D is one of them and we managed to finally meet face to face for a few minutes outside the Friday night banquet tent. So glad to have met you Fred!!

On Saturday I brought down my transition bags to check them in and then went to register for IM M-T 2013 since I knew I wanted to return here next year and really race this course. Went back to the condo and did a short bike check ride before installing the velcro mounts for a new stealth bento box I'd be using, and then brought it down to bike check. We walked over to the lake and I got in a 30 min easy swim. Such a gorgeous lake and surroundings! We had visited here last November after I registered for the race and fell in love with the resort back then.

My race nutrition plan called for a big breakfast on Saturday and then only grazing the rest of the day. I didn't have my traditional big pasta meal the night before with the goal of having my stomach ready to handle what it would take in on race day. I got up at 3:30 to eat the pre-race breakfast the plan called for, which took a while to get all down. Let's just say there was a LOT of applesauce involved, among other things. I had practiced this a couple of times in July but it still felt like a LOT of food in my belly. Trust the plan Jim.... I got back in bed for a short while before getting up to get ready.

Walked down to the transition area to drop off special needs bags. I checked my tires and put my bottles of Perform on the bike. I also mounted my aero bottle of water...which turned out to be backwards which I'll mention later on. I grabbed my wetsuit and morning clothes bag and we headed down to the swim start. I had written down the pre-race nutrition protocol but still managed to forget a step that was supposed to be done 1.5 hours before the race. I remembered to do it at 6 a.m. and figured it would be better to do it late rather than not at all. A shot of Powerbar Gel and water a few minutes prior to the start and it was go time. Just having an actual nutrition plan going into the race gave me a lot of confidence the past 2 days so I was curious if my GI issues/demons were a thing of the past.

Event warmup:

Had no time to get in the water and warm up so just grabbed a spot to the far left of the beach near where Mike Reilly was announcing from. I stayed about 4 rows back. The jet flow overhead but something happened with the military cannon that was supposed to go off at the start so everyone just started swimming with Mike Reilly just yelling "go" or something to that effect.
  • 1h 19m 28s
  • 4156 yards
  • 01m 55s / 100 yards

The swim start seemed fairly calm compared to the past few IM races I've done. Last year at Penticton (IM CAN) I got caught in a huge frenzy of swimmers and it created a few minutes of panic. I refused to let myself get caught up in a similar situation this race so I stayed waaaaay to the left of the buoys. I knew this would add to my swim split but I felt it was worth it to be able to swim without the hassle of dealing with a lot of other swimmers. I had amazingly clean water for all but a few minutes of the swim. My time was one of my slower ones but this race was all about "no pressure"
What would you do differently?:

Not much. If I had trained more this summer my pace would have been much faster.
Transition 1
  • 09m 51s

There is about a 300+ meter run from the swim exit to the transition tent (zoom in on photo below) so it was a good little warmup before the bike. It was pretty crowded in the tent but I managed to find a good seat. I decided to put on arm warmers due to the slightly chilly temps. Took in the nutrition my plan called for and headed out to my bike.
What would you do differently?:

  • 5h 55m 34s
  • 111.85 miles
  • 18.87 mile/hr

After a couple of minutes of spinning I looked down to grab a sip of water from my aero bottle and suddenly realized I had mounted it backwards in the pre-race shuffle. The straw was pointing too far backwards to use it effectively and I knew I couldn't ride 112 miles with it like that. I thought about trying to change its position while riding but knew that was a recipe for disaster. So, I picked a safe place to pull over and spent a couple of minutes to re-mount it. I refused to let myself get rattled by this bonehead mistake.

This ride was all about taking the first loop easy, spin the hills, and watch others ride insanely hard up the hills past me and then pass them on the downhill as they sat up and coasted down. I will never, ever, ever understand the logic of that riding strategy. It was a blast descending the steep hills on the Lac Superior portion of the course. Nutrition strategy called for taking in liquids every 10 min and more substantial energy every 40 minutes. Based on a sweat test I had conducted in July my coach had me taking in much more liquid than I had been taking in during my previous IM races. In previous races I didn't take in nearly enough fluids and the effects of dehydration set off a chain of events that caused stomach shutdown that I couldn't recover from. I refused to let that happen during this race. Trust the plan Jim.....

I managed to start passing quite a few people on the second loop even though I only marginally increased my perceived exertion. It was hard to swallow the pill of taking this entire bike segment conservatively due to my low training volume but I knew I wouldn't regret it once it was time to run. My stomach was feeling fine which was different from the past few races so that gave me a sense of relief heading back to transition.
Transition 2
  • 07m 49s

Grabbed my T bag and this time the tent was relatively empty compared to T1. Took my time getting run gear on. Ate a banana and an S-cap and headed out at a forced conservative pace.
  • 4h 45m 54s
  • 26.22 miles
  • 10m 54s  min/mile

I forced myself to go out very conservatively the first 6 miles. Usually when I have had stomach issues they will show up during the last hour of the bike or within the first few miles of the run. I had zero issue thru the first 6 miles so I started to realize that I had begun to figure the nutrition issues out. I picked up the pace slightly after 6 miles but still forced myself to run at a relatively easy pace. Nutrition plan called for taking in fluid every aid station, a Clif blok every 2 miles, and supplemental energy every 40 min but at a reduced amount from what I took in on the bike. Everything went perfectly during the first loop and the section through the pedestrian village was a huge mental boost as everyone cheered you on as you wound your way through a tiny path with wall to wall people on both sides.

By mile 16 I started to get a little tired of the nutrition plan and started to skip taking in as much fluid and energy. It was a double edged sword...I felt like I was taking in a LOT of stuff and I would run into trouble if I kept doing it and on the other hand if I stopped taking in enough that would cause issues as well. I made the conscious decision to cut back and pay the consequences. I know that once I get more experience with this nutrition protocol this won't be an issue in the future. I managed to keep an even pace thru mile 19 but I could feel my lack of fitness start to catch up to me. I slowed down a bit and then by mile 20 started walking for stretches at a time. I had to puke a few times starting about then but it wasn't debilitating like in past races. It started to rain a bit and it was pretty miserable for a couple of miles. I walked a fair amount with another racer and we both grabbed garbage bags at an aid station to use as ponchos and kept walking. I decided to start running again with about a mile to go and soaked in the cheers of the crowd in the village. The finish chute and line at this race has to rank up there as one of the best in the world. My finish time was a couple of hours slower than where I want to be next year but I was satisfied with how this race went. It was soooo much better to cross the finish line than to drop out on the run and end up in the med tent with an IV bag stuck in me like last year. As I crossed the line I held up 6 fingers for 6 IM finishes and Mike Reilly said "6 Ironman finishes and we're counting them with you!!".
Post race
What limited your ability to perform faster:

Limited training the past year.

Event comments:

I love Ironman Canada in Penticton (or what once was IM CAN now that they are moving) but I think that Ironman Mont-Tremblant is now my favorite venue. Can't say enough good things about this race. I'm already registered for this race for 2013 and can't wait for round 2.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2011-06-15 12:00 AM
01:19:28 | 4156 yards | 01m 55s / 100yards
Age Group: 142/285
Overall: 1314/2542
Performance: Below average
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 0F / 0C Current:
200M Perf. Remainder:
Breathing: Drafting:
Waves: Navigation:
Time: 09:51
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? Run with bike:
Jump on bike:
Getting up to speed:
05:55:34 | 111.85 miles | 18.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 91/285
Overall: 849/2542
Performance: Below average
Course: 2 loop course with 2 large out and back segments with another small one tagged on that went into a nearby village.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Time: 07:49
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:45:54 | 26.22 miles | 10m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 109/285
Overall: 1027/2542
Performance: Bad
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5