Ironman Mont Tremblant- A little sneak peak!

True fact #1 I have never been to Canada and therefore I have no idea what this course is like. Everything I know is through word of mouth, social media, the IMMT website and blog recaps.  I keep forgetting that I will be racing in an ‘International’ Ironman race!  Since I live in Massachusetts, Canada has never seemed international to me, but it is!  I even had to renew my passport for this race, since I can’t cross the border without it.  Another little tidbit for you, Mont Tremblant is located in Quebec, Canada, where French is the official language.

True fact #2 I don’t know more than three French words.  I hear this shouldn’t be a huge issue, since most of the people in the village know English, but I just downloaded a ‘learn french’ app on my iPhone, just for a little refresher, since I haven’t ‘spoken’ french since 7th grade.

Mont Tremblant Village 

I picture Tremblant as being a MAGICAL place, thanks to Jesse Thomas, a pro triathlete who just won the Mont Tremblant 70.3 last month.  He was quoted saying: “What can I say about this weekend. It was magical. Like a magical place of happiness. Like the happiest place on earth. Ok, yes, it was Disneyland. Seriously. They have go carts, gondolas everywhere, beautiful water features, French chalets and a cool downtown with cobblestones and really expensive stores. Everyone is happy and there were even a couple of dudes in gigantic cartoon costumes.” Sounds good to me!

Aka #IM703Disneyland

Seriously, I have not heard ONE bad thing about this race venue!  Mont Tremblant is a quaint little ski village that transforms into an Ironman paradise during the summer. From the race website: The surrounding area is known for its hiking, skiing, kayaking, golfing and cycling—making it an idyllic location for IRONMAN athletes and their families and friends. The village of Mont-Tremblant and its surrounding communities offer a walkable, easily navigable location for all your race-week activities. 

I hear it’s absolutely perfect for someone’s first Ironman and the course is beyond well maintained.  I have heard things such as, smooth (new) pavement throughout, which really excites me! Oh and did I mention that the area is supposed to be absolutely beautiful and it’s surrounded by mountains?!

My plans leading up to the race.

Three weeks from right now I will be on my way to Mont Tremblant! We are leaving the Thursday before the race, so I will have time to relax and get everything ready before Sunday.  It’s about a 6.5 hour drive door-to-door, not too bad at all! This will also leave me plenty of time to do my last short workouts and test out the course briefly. For Thursday-Saturday morning we will be staying in a hotel right outside Tremblant.  On Saturday (the day before the race) we will check into our Condo.  Luckily, everything is really close to the village and the race venue! Unfortunately we couldn’t get the condo before Saturday (pretty annoying!) but at least it’s the day before the race.  My in-laws have a timeshare and were gracious enough to let us transfer it to Tremblant for the week of the race, my only gripe is that we can’t check in sooner, oh well! It will just be Todd and I in the condo, my family is staying at the Fairmont, close to the race start and all the action.  Our condo is only 2 miles away though! I hope that being a little ‘removed’ from the action will lessen my anxiety a little bit (ha!) and will give me peace and quiet… not like I’ll be able to fall asleep on Saturday anyways. Being in a condo will allow me to prepare my own meals and will give me plenty of space to organize my gear:)

[Managing pre-race nerves.]

The Swim Course

The swim is a 2.4-mile rectangular course in Lake Tremblant. The swim gives athletes a clear view of the surrounding mountains and the estimated water temperature on race day is 71 F (I hear it was around 74 F last year).  IMMT uses a wave start (yay!) and I will be entering the water with my age group versus a mass start with the all of the athletes at once. I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about a wave start i.e. ‘it’s not the real Ironman experience’ but I don’t care, I want to feel safe and less anxious out there!  Once the swim is finished, I will need to run a good distance to T1 (so I hear!).  I think it’s the equivalent of a 1/4 mile to the changing tent?! Good thing I like running.

The Bike- I hear it’s hilly

From what I have been reading, the bike course at IMMT is hilly, but ‘manageable.’

Here’s an elevation profile:

and a peak at the climbs:

As someone who trains regularly on hills, I’m not too nervous. The course is two 56 mile loops, which I like.  I like knowing what to expect the second half of the race i.e. what hills to expect:).  Also, I’ll get to see my family a few times on the bike course and that will motivate me!  As you can see from the elevation map above, there is a lot of climbing towards the end of the loop.  I have read there are some killer downhills and lots of rollers through out the course.  One blogger said he thought he was going to break his shifters he was shifting so much during the entire race!

The Run.

From everything I’ve heard and read, I think I’m going to love this run course! The run is a 13.1 mile out-and-back, which can be broken into two, not-quite-equal sections: Chemin du Village ~6 miles (pavement), and Le P’tit Train du Nord, ~7 miles (trail). The trail part of the course really excites me… it’s a former railway bed turned into the longest linear park in Canada. The crushed gravel trail should be soft on my feet and will give my legs a break from the pounding.  The only criticism I’ve heard is that it can be quite narrow, like when trying to pass people. The run finishes in the pedestrian village of Tremblant Resort!

Well there you have it, a little preview of what I’ll be experiencing in T – 23 days! Down to the wire now!

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  • Reply Tami July 24, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    i haven’t read this entire post yet so I not sure you mentioned it but everything is measured in kilometers, not miles. My friends said it wasn’t too bad, especially on the run because it gave you something else to think about! We were up there for the inaugural race and stayed right in the village. whatever you do, try (really hard) to get down to the finish line to see the last finishers come in. it’s very inspiring.

  • Reply Amy July 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    IMMT has been my favorite Ironman so far, by a large margin. Everything you said it absolutely true. Magical venue, smooth roads, hilly but manageable, the trail you run on is great, etc. My only complaint was the swim start, but they obviously figured out immediately that it was bad and rejiggered that.

    I hope it’s as wonderful for you as it was for me!

    My race report, if you’re interested.

  • Reply Nicole July 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Ahh 3 weeks!!

    IMMT sounds beautiful! It sounds really similar to IMCDA in a lot of ways as well.

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust July 25, 2014 at 1:57 am

    I think it’s going to be a magical place for you forever, as it will be the place where you become an IRONMAN! Beautiful course. I would definitely consider this one if it weren’t so far away!

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm

      Yes it will always be magical, you are right:) I know, if only we lived on the same coast as each other!

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats July 25, 2014 at 3:35 am

    WOW!!! What a course!! So funny that you did this preview because about 2 hours ago I looked up where it was. I thought it was more mid-Canada (like above the Dakotas) and realized it was super close to you!! (That is relative–because it takes 6.5-7 hours for me to get to Whistler) Sounds like it is going to be a perfect course for your first!! So exited for you!!!

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Too funny! Yes it’s about a 6 hour drive, not too bad. I like to think it will be the perfect course for my first IM!

  • Reply Lee@triinspiredlife July 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

    I have heard great things about the MT venue as well from friends that raced last year. I am in Lake Placid now, arrived yesterday, and I find this town to be very quaint and beautiful. I had heard so many great things about LP over the past year, so I bet you will be all smiles when you arrive MT like I was arriving yesterday in LP. You are getting close!

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm

      So good to hear! I will definitely be all smiles (and nerves) when I arrive. I also hear LP is beautiful. I can’t wait to hear all about your race:)

  • Reply Phaedra @ Blisters and Black Toenails July 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    I know so many people who’ve done the 70.3 & the full and they’ve raved about how wonderful the course is. I’ve never been there even though it’s fairly close (5 hours or so) but I’ve been to Montreal & Quebec City and both places are STUNNING so I’d expect nothing less from Mt. Tremblant. I’m so excited for you!

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      So good to hear!! I can’t wait!!

  • Reply Kecia July 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Looks like a great race and venue!! One I will have to look into a little more seriously in the future 😉 I can’t wait to cheer you on from afar and read all about your race experience 🙂

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      You should totally do IMMT one day! Soon enough I will be able to tell you all about it:)

  • Reply Cassie @ Rural Running Redhead July 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    That course looks beautiful! How nice to have a condo so you can have control over what you eat. I cannot wait to read your race report once this is done!

    • Reply Kristin July 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Yes so excited to have our own place.. makes things a lot less stressful leading up to a race!

  • Reply IMMT {RUN Recap} and the FINISH! | Sweat Courage September 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    […] I mentioned in my race preview, the IMMT Run Course is an out-and-back course, that you repeat twice for 13.1 miles.  It is […]

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