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Montreal Demi Esprit Ironman - Triathlon1/2 Ironman

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Montreal, Quebec
20C / 68F
Total Time = 5h 16m 47s
Overall Rank = 99/179
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 29/33
Pre-race routine:

Left home on Thursday night and drove half way to my parents home.
We continued to Montreal Friday morning and went to the site to pick up my bag. There I met another guy from my tri club. He was also doing the HIM.

My wife came with me because she was running the Montreal half marathon the day after my HIM. Both events are on the same week-end for some reason. So we also had to pick up her race bag on Friday.

We woke up early to get there early enough to get a good parking spot near the transition area. The half ironman was the first race to start, at 7h00am. Chose a good spot in the transition area and set up my gear. Went in line to get my chips, one for me and one for my bike to count the laps. the weather was really great and they finally anounced that wetsuits would be allowed.
Event warmup:

Went for a little jog around the site. We could not go on the bike course before the race.
  • 37m 43s
  • 1900 meters
  • 01m 59s / 100 meters

We were swimming in the basin where the 1976 Olympic rowing competition took place. Perfect place to swim, no waves, good temperature and I could even follow cables at the bottom of the basin to keep going strait.

I started at right, near the buoy line. Bad idea, there was too much traffic in front and I could not pass. A lot of people wanting to go at the same place at the same time. I therefore slowed a little bit and moved to the left. There, I was able to find room and swim at my pace, but it took me around 200 meters to get comfortable.

I found my pace and just kept going. When I turned at the first buoy, I felt pretty good and just continued at the same pace. I did not want to push too hard on the swim. Around 300 meters from the finish, I started accelerating a little and passed a few guys. When I got out, I was bang on my planned time, not too fast, not too slow and plenty of energy to continue.
What would you do differently?:

Start at left.
Transition 1
  • 02m 10s

Normally, the swimmers have to climb stairs after the swim because the running portion goes around the basin. But since we were the first wave, there were no runners and we did not have to climb the stairs....yououou

I had put some bodyglide before the race and I managed to get out of the wet suit pretty easily compared to previous races. Put on my helmet, glasses, and there I go. My shoes were clipped on the bike so I just jumped on the bike after the mount line and started my bike segment.
What would you do differently?:

I think it went pretty well. Maybe just do everything a little faster, but that`s it.
  • 2h 39m 58s
  • 90 kms
  • 33.76 km/hr

The bike course was on the F1 track in Montreal. It is the best road I can think of. No cracks, no bumps, no holes, no cars. You just go as fast as you can. We had to do 20 laps of the 4.4km track. A chip on the bike was counting our laps.

Since we were the first wave, the track was not that congested. Well just the ones that got out of the water before me, around 100 spread out on 4.4km, so not that busy. For the first half of the track, we had the wind in our back and for the second half, well you can guess. The wind was not that strong however.

I adopted a comfortable pace but tried to push a little harder when I had the wind in my back each lap. I had a strategy; I just spotted somebody in front of me and tried to pass him/her before the next lap. I was able to pass some people that way, but I was also passed by others. After just a few laps, maybe 4, the other guy from Dieppe passed me. He encouraged me and went away....I did not try to follow him. He is way faster than me.

I don`t know if I would try a full ironman on that course (40 laps of the track...), but for a HIM, it was perfect. My wife got to cheer me each lap and it went by pretty fast.

After around 14 laps, the guy from Dieppe passed me again but this time, just as we had turn for the portion with the wind in our back. I decided to go a little faster to see if I could follow him. I was able to follow him for half the lap. When we turned, and entered the pit lane (where we had some small headwind), I lost him.

After 16 lap, the guy at the exit announced I had only 4 laps to go. Whow, it went pretty fast and I am still in decent shape. Should I push a little harder? No, I kept my pace and finished the bike portion with some energy to run the half marathon.
What would you do differently?:

Train harder. I don't have strong legs on the bike. I will have to work on that this winter....
Transition 2
  • 02m 2s

Racked my bike, remove helmet, put some socks and shoes, grab my number belt and go... The run exit was at the end of the transition zone, so had to run a little before exiting on the running course.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I think it went realtively fast.
  • 1h 54m 57s
  • 21.1 kms
  • 05m 27s  min/km

We had to run 4 times around the bassin where we just swam. The bassin is 2km long, so each lap is around 4.5km. Our fist lap included another stretch to compensate for the missing 3km.

I started running and felt pretty good. Again, I did not want to push too hard. I settled into a comfortable pace and was jogging with another fellow from Montreal. We ran together for the first lap (including the extra 3Km) and half of the second one. At one water station he stopped and I just continued and never saw him again. The guy from my tri club passed me again at the start of my second lap. It was his last one. I gave him a high five and the girl behind him was a little jealous so I also gave her a high five. Everybody was happy....

For the first 2 laps and some, I did not stop at the water stations, just took the water and gatorade and continued running. But after 12-13 km, my body started telling me that swimming, biking and running these distances the same day one after the other was probably not a good idea. So I started walking 20-30 seconds at each station. It help a lot and was able to keep my pace even with the stops. My next goal was always the next water station (3 each lap).

It was starting to get a little hot when I was on my last lap and it felt a little bit harder. But I still felt pretty good and was happy to finish in 5h16:47, almost 15 minutes faster than my 5h30 objective.
What would you do differently?:

It went very good, probably because I did not push too hard on the swim and bike. Next time (yes, yes, there may be a next time.....) I will push a little harder in all 3 segments.
Post race
Warm down:

Just wanted some shade. Walked around a little with my wife. Got my lunch and sat down a bit to eat. At that point, the sun felt really hot. I had one friend doing the sprint and wanted to wait for her, but I would have had to wait another 1h30min in the sun for her to finish. My wife was running the half marathon on the next day and she got up early and watched me race. It was also time to give some rest to her legs.

BTer Robert from Quebec was also there and I wanted to spot him, but we had to leave before he arrived. Sorry Robert, maybe next year....

It was a really fun experience and was really pleased with my performance. It was so fun that I plan on doing it again next year and my objective will be under 5h. I know I can do it if I push a little harder in each sport.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Train more and more and more......

Last updated: 2009-05-19 12:00 AM
00:37:43 | 1900 meters | 01m 59s / 100meters
Age Group: 26/33
Overall: 99/179
Performance: Good
Course: Out and back
Start type: Plus:
Water temp: 74F / 23C Current: Low
200M Perf. Below average Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Good Navigation: Good
Rounding: Good
Time: 02:10
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed: Good
02:39:58 | 90 kms | 33.76 km/hr
Age Group: 28/33
Overall: 103/179
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: 20 laps of a 4.4km F1 race track (Gilles Villeneuve track)
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Time: 02:02
Overall: Good
Riding w/ feet on shoes Good
Jumping off bike Good
Running with bike Good
Racking bike Good
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:54:57 | 21.1 kms | 05m 27s  min/km
Age Group: 28/33
Overall: 107/179
Performance: Good
Course: 4 laps around the rowing basin.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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

2009-09-21 11:31 AM

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New Brunswick, Canada
Subject: Montreal Demi Esprit Ironman

2009-09-21 11:59 AM
in reply to: #2417675

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Quebec, Canada
Subject: RE: Montreal Demi Esprit Ironman
Good job Luc, j'ai jonglé avec l'idée de faire le HIM au lieu de l'oly cette année à Mtl et a lire ton RR je suis un peu jaloux  

L'année prochaine on le fera ensemble  J'espère juste être capable de te suivre ... 

Superbe performance durant une superbe journée. Félicite ta blonde pour son demi, je suis certain que ca a super bien été!  
2009-09-21 7:21 PM
in reply to: #2417675

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Ames, IA
Subject: RE: Montreal Demi Esprit Ironman
Stellar first HIM!  Glad you are already thinking about the next one
2009-09-22 8:20 AM
in reply to: #2417675

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Subject: RE: Montreal Demi Esprit Ironman
Great job congrats!!!
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