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IM 70.3 Mont Tremblant Juin 2016


IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant, 2016

4 weeks after the Ottawa Marathon comes the second main race of the year; the half IM of Mont Tremblant. Registrations are closed just a few hours after opening, which means that the event is full.

The last 4 weeks of preparation are actually recovery from the marathon. Only light training in order to attack this ironman as less tired as possible.

Regarding the objectives I would like to do a 30min sub for swimming, a 2h30min sub for the bike and a 1h30 sub for running. Which will give me ideally between 4.30am and 4.40am for the final result.

We are a team of 20 athletes who meet for the weekend events between the 5150 and the half IM. We follow the events on Saturday very closely, encouraging our friends during their efforts. The heat is already there, and the organization reassures us; the heat will be more intense the next day.

Sunday June 26:

Business is ready, and we’re planning a lie-in for D-Day. Our departure is scheduled for 9am. I have never had a start so late, even the professionals start at 8am! The transition zone closes at 7:15 am, so sleep in is short, we leave all our transition items on the ground, it’s a big first for Ironman! We get marked, and it’s just the bib number, I am refused to note my age. That’s always less to rub in the shower at night!

Tremblant beach is full of athletes and tourists, the national anthem is played as a supersonic jet passes over our latex-coated heads. Lionel Sanders is there in favorites I stand a few feet from him before his start and observe him carefully during his pre-race concentration phase. 8h the start of the pros is given then 8:04 it is the turn of the female pros then the starts of the age groups begin.

Finally, my starting wave arrives, I place myself first row on the far right while the majority of the athletes are placed on the left. A guy next to me asks me if he can hang on to me to get out in +/- 30min and I confirm that this is what I was planning to do.

9 o’clock sharp, cannon shot and it takes off in a quarter of a turn, a little jostling, nothing too brutal for a triathlon. The water is “warm”, few waves and the buoys arrive quickly. We quickly catch up with the slower swimmers of the two (or three) starting waves that precede us. I will swim rather straight for once, but from the first turn I find myself sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right! Too bad the first mile was really clean.

I get out of the water, look at my 29 ‘watch and a few seconds! Cool I’m on time! I find 2 wetsuit peelers available which take off the wetsuit and I go to join my bicycle.

Official swimming time: 31’05 ” and T1 in 3’29 ”

We jump on the fast machine , put on the pumps, put my granola bars in my pockets, tighten my shoes and roll my hen. Here the objective is to maintain an average between 36 and 38km / h throughout the 90km. The road is not very wide and there are many athletes ahead. I mostly ride in the middle and to the left warning others when I come upon them. Despite its density, the traffic is managed quite well, I expected more recalcitrant athletes but no fear for me throughout the course.

The route is bounded every 10km, at the first terminal I look at my planned passage time (piece of paper that I stuck to my frame) I should be between 15 ‘(38km / h) and 17’ (36km / h ). I look at my watch: 15 ‘and a few seconds. “Ok we continue at the same pace, we are not giving up”. We go up on the highway (the 117) and I’m quite surprised to see a few bumps. All of the reviews I’ve read said “the highway is the flat part of the circuit. “Certainly the slopes are gentle, but I find myself standing on the bike on many occasions.

The descents are also fast, the GPS will record on this section a peak at 69km / h. Small gusts of wind remind us to hold our bike well but nothing too brutal, here we have mainly the backwind. Then comes the U-turn. And you immediately feel the wind from the front, you make yourself small and you continue to pedal as if you were going. I pass in front of a penalty tent, it is packed! All those athletes who got caught drafting I guess. It is sure that with this density it encourages “breaking” the rules. I will meet a lot of officials on motorcycles and also on bikes, yet I will not see any cardboard distributed. On the other hand, I noticed a lot of wheel suckers throughout the course.

I watch my lap times religiously every 10km, I am always well in my range between 36 and 38km, The Duplessis road follows without incident and I put the bike down in 2h28’18 ” (36.4km / h of average), well satisfied.

The heat is immediately felt once on foot. It left for 21km on a course that I know well. I like the climbs at the beginning and the end, it is in these sections that I stand out the most from the runners, so I enjoy it to my heart’s content. The first km are run in 4’05 – 4’10 / km. But the heat makes the race difficult, km6 my pace goes down to 4’15 – 4’20 / km then km14 to 4’40 and it goes down more and more. I hang on so as not to walk, and not to make a face too much. This race is not going as planned at all. It’s my favorite sport and it’s where I fish the most today. I’m fed up I count the kilometers 1 by 1… Then we finally get out of the northern train, back to the village, where I find my bumps, I find a smile and finally some shady spots. We get watered by the villagers and I finish the last 3 kilometers at a good pace. I finished the semi in 1h36… worse than in Las Vegas in the Nevada desert!

But that’s still my best performance for a 70.3, 4:40:48 ”. I remain satisfied with my swim and my bike. I go for a massage, swallow a poutine and I find my friends who arrive little by little, I will even have the opportunity to exchange a few words with Lionel Sanders who himself was waiting for members of his family who participated in the 70.3. Now there are only two weeks left to recuperate and arrive at the Toronto triathlon as tired as possible.

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