The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Report

To be honest, I’m pissed off and embarrassed. And then immediately, I’m embarrassed and pissed off that I’m pissed off and embarrassed. The day didn’t go as expected at all. It was spectacularly awesome until it was spectacularly disastrous.  “Way to go”, “Awesome job”, “You nailed it” – I sincerely appreciate all the feedback from friends on Facebook. It’s exactly what I would say to anyone else. My final time was 11:54:33. it is a good ironman time.

The swim was magnificent, it was my fastest swim on the least amount of effort. The trouble probably started on the bike. And fittingly, being a big data geek, my Garmin file was corrupt and did not download, so I can’t even analyze the power… but I know I went too fast.

I started the run at 6:53 clock time. It was going great for the first 4K. I had started out a little fast but was able to reign it in. I was going to break 11 hours. Even with the inevitable “fade” I would surely meet my 11:29 A-Goal… but all of a sudden, my left hamstring seized. I could not move. For the entire first lap I was alternating walking, shuffling and jogging with seizing muscles. I spent a lot of time motionless, crippled with cramps. Left and right hamstrings, left and right quads, left and right calves. It was only by the 25K mark, as we were heading back onto the Petit Train path that I was able to keep a consistent jog. I willed myself to keep jogging and not walk. With 5K to go, I flipped my watch to race time, and I figured if I could do the last 5K in 45 minutes, I would break 12 hours. So that became plan B.

The finish was great. The last 200 meters was electrifying and unforgettable, it took away the sting of a painful marathon.

Even though I did not keep my power in check, I really enjoyed the bike ride.

Feeling pretty good here. The last 200 meters was energizing.

Finish clock is based on race start for pros. Actual finish time was 11:54:33.
Still high on the finish line adrenaline. I could only manage 2 sips of the beer :) 

The Dirty Truth
Ironman was different than the Esprit, the Canadian 226, Challenge Cedar Point and Michigan Titanium. It wasn't better, it was different. I wanted to do this race partly because I wanted to gauge my performance relative to 2000+ other people; partly because it's close and intriguing in that way; but, also to finally find out if there was anything lacking from my past iron-distance efforts. There isn't. MDot is only a brand. 140.6 is the achievement.

The Stats

Guylaine's Race
Wow, what a trooper. She suffered a major mechanical issue on the bike. Under the high load of ascending Duplessis, her rear wheel shifted in the horizontal drop-outs and began rubbing against the frame. This eventually lead to a high-speed blow out on the fastest downhill part of the course. She pulled over and replaced her tube, but the tire was actually ruptured from the rubbing friction. Fortunately, a mechanic happened to pass by when she noticed her new tube poking out through the hole. Unfortunately, having a 650c wheels, he did not have a spare wheel or replacement on his scooter. Fortunately, he had one back at the shop as was able to radio someone to get it to him. He "booted" her damaged tire with a piece of cardboard, and told her to meet him further on down the course. A short wait later, a new tire appeared and she was able to carry on. Notwithstanding the loss of momentum and the mental toll it took on her, she still powered through the bike, and threw down a remarkable 4:14 marathon for still an Ironman PB. Had she not lost over 30 minutes with the tire change, she would have dominated the race.

Bonus Photos

All ready to leave, bright an early on Friday morning. Rolled into Tremblant around 10:30 AM

Got our race kits and a quick photo

Another photo at the Big M-Dot.

The expo was pretty good. These Ventum bikes are not as fugly in real life.

Guylaine rocking a pair of $300 Roka shades

In the actual Ironman merch tent

We're there

Professional press conference on Friday (unfortunately, it was raining)

At the pre-event dinner on Friday night. Over 2500 people in a big tent. Pretty loud. 

Friday night entertainment, the band was really good.


Fireworks on Friday night

Killing time on Saturday

Found Wallowitz. He was also in Grand Rapids last year for Michigan Titanium.

Our big purchase at the official MDOT merch tent. LOL. 

All race bags packed and ready to go.

Guylaine's bike dropped off on Saturday afternoon.

My bike dropped off on Saturday afternoon.

Dropping off all the drop off bags.

Our hotel from the chair lift than ran right over our hotel.

From the chairlift

2200 bikes racked and ready to roll. Lots of $$$ here
The best laid plans

Off to set up at 5:15, lots of people already hanging around, the town was bustling.

1000s of people waiting to get body marked. Went by really fast. 
Heading towards the 4 corners after finishing Duplessis.
Thanks Rob and Val, it was great to see you and receive your support.

Starting the run, looking not too bad

Still in good spirits at this point
Hey that's me.

My rear tire had zero air in it when I picked it up from transition after the race. Hmmm?
Obviously not as bad as Guylaine though.

The finish line is pretty cool. I will say that.
We went back and watched for a bit, but we didn't go to watch the last finishers.
We didn't want to see the heartbreak of someone come in after the cut off.