Thursday, August 25, 2016

Ironman Mont Tremblant Race Recap - Swim Leg

I know, I haven't posted in a long time!

This year has been different. Mike and I bought a new house and I FINALLY closed on the sale of our old house. Two days before Ironman Mont Tremblant. To say that this year has been stressful would be an understatement. We only raced a few times this year, training was lackluster and we only had one triathlon prior to Mont Tremblant and it was a sprint (that I still need to recap, oops).

A few months ago, after we transferred to a different 70.3 later in the year, we even contemplated dropping out of Mont Tremblant completely. We decided to see how training would go, and while it was still lacking it went a bit better. We did complete two 100 mile ride/20 mile run weekends and we just went into the Ironman hoping we were strong enough.

We knew it was going to be different than Louisville and finishing was all that mattered. Ironman Mont Tremblant has fairly tough bike and run courses and we weren't going to have the nice current that we had in the Ohio River this time around.

 In the ski village

Organizing gear

Last Friday, Mike and I made our way to Mont Tremblant. My family was already there, lucky, and after a delayed arrival due to traffic Mike and I checked into the race Friday afternoon. It was hard to believe that our second Ironman was only two days away!

After our practice swim the day before the race

My bike ready to go!

Thankfully this was never a factor, but I was worried it wouldn't be a "true" Ironman!

The rest of the pre-race festivities went as well as they could, and I tried to not worry about finishing the race (but I have to admit there were still doubts). After a nice dinner with our families and our friend, Andy, I ended up going to bed pretty early due to a headache. I could hear the Olympics in the background and Mike finally joined me.

I slept really well and thankfully my headache was gone on race morning! We were staying in a condo and didn't have a far walk to the transition area. We got body marked and then put air in our tires and water/Gatorade in our bottles on our bike.

We had about a 15 minute walk to the swim start and when we got there my parents were already there. Soon Mike's parents joined us and Mike and I went to go get in the port-a-potty line. While it was long, it went relatively quickly and we put our wetsuits on right before the start of the race.

 Getting ready to start our day!

Mike's wave was already ready and lined up by the time we walked over there, but he was able to get through and join his wave right before it went off. My wave didn't start for another 15 minutes, so I just stood there trying to take everything all in. I knew the day would have challenges, but I hoped it would end with those four words we all wanted to hear.

As each wave went off, it got closer to my start time - 6:57am.

Finally, it was my turn. I was right in the front and Mike Reilly said we had a minute until our start. With some final words, we heard the start and we were off! We had to run into the water, but I didn't run very far and started swimming right away.

It took some time to get clear water, but eventually I did.

However, that didn't last very long. Since I am a good swimmer, I was in the front of my wave. After a few minutes I started to see orange caps and from then on it was chaos. I felt like I was in a washing machine because everyone was all over the place. I did find open water again for a little while, but I had to maneuver around people constantly.

I felt like the beginning was taking forever, maybe because I had to pass so many people, but eventually the red buoys indicating the turn were visible in the distance (I had been tricked a few times since one cap color was red, ha).

When I made the turn, that's when I felt the chop. It was pretty windy and I must have had a tailwind on the way out. I had to fight for an open water position and just focused on getting to the swim exit. Some people were right next to me or pushing on my legs and I just wanted to get out of the water.

I did look at my watch a few times just to see how I was doing. I could see the exit in the distance and as I approached it I kept swimming for awhile. It seemed like people were standing up really early and eventually I stood up and ran out of the water.

Mike running along the red carpet toward transition

I went over to the wetsuit strippers (my first time using them) and then started running toward the transition area. Mont Tremblant has a pretty long trek from the swim exit (which is in a different spot than the start) to the transition area. They try to make it fun by adding a red carpet, ha. Along the way I saw my brother and sister-in-law and they cheered me on.

I heard my mom and dad (I think) as I ran closer to the transition tent. As I ran inside, I grabbed my bike gear bag and into the women's changing area.

2.4 miles down, only 138.2 more miles to go!

Swim Leg (2.4 miles) - Jamie: 1:10:00, Mike: 1:05:59
Transition 1 - Jamie: 6:51, Mike: 6:11


  1. Wow, look at those times for 4km! Amazing. I've been waiting for these recaps! Hope you were able to enjoy the beauty of Tremblant as well (that's where we honeymooned)!