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!
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:)
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!
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!