18th August 2019
Race morning, it was 4 am when the alarm sounds and I rolled out of bed. This is my fairly normal get up time for a race. Time to have breakfast, get the body ready, take my time. Make sure I forget nothing. So with all the normal morning stuff completed. It was time to head down and check on the bikes and bags before the race. The ski bucket lift which runs up and down the centre of the Pedestrian Village at Mont Tremblant was already running and so we just hopped aboard. I hoped it would still be running in the evening after the race and this would make getting bikes and tired triathletes back to the accommodation at the top of the village a lot easier.
Once I had checked my bike tires and put my race nutrition where I needed it, it was time to head over to the start area and think about getting into my wetsuit.
Wetsuit on and after race bag in the truck there was nothing much more to do than to wait till about 20 minutes before the race. This is when I like to go and dip myself in the water and get to the body used to the water temperature.
All the preparations had been made, it was not in the lap of the Gods as to what would happen. I had herniated a disk in the spring. This had caused me some considerable discomfort while it was healing and I was trying to train for the race. The big question I did not know was how my body would hold up to it all. I was going to try and see. (But if I am honest there was no way I was going to give up once I had started)
The swim in that lake was wonderful. The water was at a great temperature, and while you do not get a lot of time to admire the scenery as your breath it was amazing to be swimming there.
The course was a long rectangle, one lap very easy to navigate. Swim straight out turn right, turn right swim for home. 1:21:58, I was happy with it and the back was not suffering, I was a bit from the lack of depth to some of my training but it was respectable.
It was a long run to transition but I was not hanging around and was soon on my bike.
My water bottle on my tri-bars was a pain. It kept pinging off with each bump I went over. A race official had some black insulating tape in his car and after lots of tape it was put in a position where it would not move, and I could get on with the job in hand, 180km bike ride.
The bike ride took us from the ski resort at Mont Tremblant down to the Trans-Canadian Highway, where they had shut a whole carriageway for about 25 km for us to ride up and down. so 10km down to the main road, 50 km up and down the Trans-Canadian Highway 10km up to the ski resort and then go on for another 10km around the mountain and come back. Do this 2 times.
It was a great course some real fast parts, some bits where you needed to be a bit more careful and some ok climbs. I really enjoyed myself. But I could feel my back getting worse and worse and I continued to pedal. After 6:45 minutes I was back in transition, but I could hardly stand up. This was going to be a tough call. Do I go on or do I stop!!!
I hobbled to the transition tent where I collected my run kit, and then when to get changed. I could hardly stand up, during my recovery from my disk I had noticed that my psoas muscle kept getting tight, and causing pain in my back. So I lay down on the ground in the transition tent and started to stretch it out. One of the volunteers came over to check I was alright, I explained the issue and what I was trying to do, to which he replies “I am a chiropractor, I can try to help here, if it does not work we can go to the medical tent”. Result!!!!
He placed it fingers just where he needed to, to release my psoas, and it worked. I could stand up again and I could imaging running or trotting out of transition. My race was saved.
So on to the run on an out and back course, 10.5km over to the old village of Mont Tremblant, then follow the old railway line through the woods, and back again. I was simple, and lots of opportunities to see other people racing, and give each other lots of support.
I had seen lots of my sister too while we had been racing, and I knew she knew exactly what needed to be done the whole way through the race. While the support in the woods was a little limited I still enjoyed it.
After two laps it was time to finish the race, enjoy the finish area under the bucket lift with the iconic words from Mike Reilly “You are an Ironman”. The last time he said this to me was in Kona, Hawaii. While this was never going to be my fastest race, it was still a great race. I had not known if I would or could finish. I proved to myself what I could do, most of which was just pig-headedness.
I was really pleased, I had risen to the challenge, probably one of my biggest, and I had succeeded.
After the glory of the finish line I quickly had a bite to eat and found mum, we went and collected bikes and race bags for both myself and my sister, and took them back to the apartment while she continued to race.
We arrived back in time to see here finishing and getting a high-five from Mike Reilly.
The bucket lift was still running after the race had all finished and we could take it back to the top of the village and our apartment, where we could reheat the ribs mum had barbequed earlier in the day.
A great day out, thank you, Tremblant.