Tales from Tremblant

Just got back from a whirlwind week at Ironman Mont Tremblant. Last Wednesday night, Coach Vader and 2 of my Louisville teammates (Kim & Tripp)headed out to the airport where we met Mike and Sandy from No Boundaries. We determined a while back that flying into Montreal was going to be rather expensive so we flew into Burlington, VT where we stayed the night. Thursday morning we got up bright and early and started the 2.5-3 hour drive to Mont Tremblant, northwest of Montreal. The border crossing was uneventful and quick and despite a lot of traffic and construction we made it to Mont Tremblant without much fuss.

We parked the car and while we were walking to the center of the village we met Haley Chura. She was wearing a Dynamo T shirt so we knew right away she was from Atlanta. What we didn’t know is that she is a rockstar! Tripp asked her what she did for a living and she paused and said “I am a pro triathlete!” She was super cute and told us a little bit about herself while we walked to athlete check in. Everyone got checked in and are posing here with their backpacks.

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OK, so we need to have a little background on how we ended up here. John had wanted to do this race and when he took 2012 off to help coach everyone for Louisville he decided this was going to be his 2013 race. It opened last August and he signed up. He emailed the team letting them know and Kim was suffering from post Louisville delirium and thought the email came from me. In her defense we have similar email addresses. Thinking I was already planning on another Ironman she quickly signed herself and Tripp up without really looking at the course or anything. It was only after she registered that she realized I wouldn’t touch this race since it was advertised as having a tough bike course and possible a cold lake swim. Hell no! Plus I was burnt out from Louisville and needed a rest. Well, Kim about sh** her pants. I wasn’t worried about them because they were both strong cyclists and they would put the time in to train properly and would be just fine. 4 other No Boundaries people were signed up too so it was going to be a fun August vacation (on my Anniversary – yay!).

Back to present: 2 of the 7 decided not to do the race so we had 5 toeing the line on Sunday. In the meantime we frequented a great brewpub with delicious food and great service. We also previewed the Ironman gear and checked out the expo, drove the bike course and checked out the town.

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Bike Course Fuel
Bike Course Fuel

 

The race was here before we knew it. Bags had to be packed and race numbers applied

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Race Morning!! Since we stayed in the village and there were assigned swim waves we woke up at a leisurely 5am and headed down to transition at 5:45. Bikes were setup, and we made our way to the swim start.

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Everyone is ready to go!!

The beach was extremely crowded so I knew I would no hope of seeing anyone go out on the swim. I was laden with morning clothes bags and wanted to get a good spot at the swim exit so I hauled all the stuff back to the room, grabbed a drink and a snack and found a great spot to see the swimmers head into T1.

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Tripp ran into some trouble at the beginning of the swim when he didn’t find a place to leave his glasses. Typically the volunteers will take the glasses and then bring them to the finish. When Tripp could not find a place to deposit them he put them in a planter near the swim start. Tripp was a little distressed about this since he likes to have those same glasses for the run. He has another pair he wears for the bike. So, when Tripp ran by he stopped to tell me where to find the glasses. After everyone was in T1 I headed back to the beach to look for glasses. I searched the pots near where we sat after the practice swim the previous day. I searched them again. I had someone help me search them. I searched all the planters on the entire deck. I asked if anyone found them and no luck. I was now distressed since I did not want to have to tell Tripp I did not have them but I already looked like a mental patient going through all the planters so I headed back to the condo for a shower.

BTW – remember our new friend Haley the pro? She rocked that swim. First woman out of the water and set a swim course record. Haley ended up finishing 8th overall. Truly Amazing!! What a sweet girl. We ran into her again the second day when we were picking up bikes. She has a great career in front of her!

Go Haley Go!
Go Haley Go!

Once cleaned up I headed out to the bike course to catch everyone as they stopped for the special needs bags. It was just past the 56 mile mark. As I was walking up the hill to the stop I saw Kim go by so I quickly ran up and said hello, John was right behind her so I must have missed Mike who was out in front. I chatted with him for a minute and he mentioned his back was hurting and then coincidentally as I was going through my purse I think I dropped my supply of Advil. John fortunately was able to find some Advil on the ground and he went on his way. When I realized my clumsiness I picked up my bottle and found a spare inner tube with a CO2 cartridge. Well, look at that I exclaimed!

I saw Sandy go by on the other side of the road so she was heading into the really bad hills. Tripp came by shortly and I had to tell him about the glasses. It seems he did not tell me the correct place to go since he was understandably confused after getting out of the swim. He rocked that swim by the way. Tripp was my swim buddy throughout Louisville training and we swam every stroke of that race together. I was so happy he had a great swim at IMMT! This time around, Tripp gave me better directions – the glasses were in the planters outside the beach club and I found them no problem. A bit later Sandy zoomed on by, skipping special needs all together.

Tripp enjoying his burger at special needs before I shooed him on his way
Tripp enjoying his burger at special needs before I shooed him on his way

Glasses secured and everyone was on their second loop so it was time for me to get some lunch. Back to our favorite brewpub. The run course went right by the patio so I got to see some of the professionals finish their first loop of the run. They would be finishing the race very shortly.

After lunch I had to headed down to transition to see my people getting ready to go out for the run. After looking at the online results it was clear Kim was pulling ahead. Sure enough Kim came out of transition followed closely by John and next was Mike. Then Tripp was there and we exchanged glasses. He was so happy! I had some time to spare before Sandy would be there so I headed back to the room for a drink and to charge up the phones. I frantically was checking on Sandy and was getting a little concerned. Ironman athlete tracking is notoriously awful so it could have just been a case of bad tracking. I ran down to transition just in time to see Sandy run out with only 5 minutes to spare. Whew! If Sandy was feeling good that run was going to be cake for her.

With all my runners on the course it was time to move bikes. I headed to transition to start the 3 trips to get Kim, Tripp and John’s bike over the Tri Bike transport so they could be shipped back to Atlanta. I brought extra grocery bags to bring back all the bottles and stuff on the bikes. After that was done, I decided to get the gear bags. We had discussed it earlier and they said they would get them the next day but I thought I would try to get them all. I picked up 6 bags of stuff and slung one pair over my left shoulder, one pair over my right and held the other pair in front while I carried a backpack with 3 grocery bags full of bottles clipped to it. I looked ridiculous. Thankfully, I did not have to go far. The problem was it was all uphill and through the thickets crowds near the finish line. I made it back to the room and rewarded myself by turning on the A/C. Next thing I know the power went out! I learned later that everyone’s power went out but I thought it was our stupid condo and called up to the main hotel. It came back after about 10 minutes but I did not turn that AC back on again.

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Giant gear bag pile

Ok, now that the serious work is done it’s time to check in on the runners again. I headed back out to the transition area where I could see them start their second loop of the run. John had pulled into the lead and Kim was not too far behind. I missed Mike on the second loop but kept everyone on the tracker while I got ready for the final hours.

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I found a good spot on the hill before the finish line and did not have to wait long to see John head into the final shoot. I moved down to find John and then shortly Kim finished. Kim was feeling a little lightheaded and after her little whoopsie daisy at Bartram last year she was concerned and so I suggested she go to the medical tent and make sure she was OK. We had some time so we went back to the room so John could shower and then we waited for Mike, Tripp and Sandy to finish.

Everyone did great! John, Tripp and Kim had PRs and Mike and Sandy finished strong. Everyone crashed and then got in line at 6:30 for the “buy more Ironman sh**” opportunity. We then packed up our stuff and headed back to Burlington. We git hung up at the border for over an hour but we finally made it back into the US! We had lunch at a nice brewpub that John and I had visited a few years back. Then back to the hotel for a hotel beach party!

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Before this I made everyone pose for a finishers picture

1150210_10201953728269158_171780940_nUp early the next morning and then back to Atlanta. It was a great trip, perfect weather, super host city and a fantastic Ironman!

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