Whew, that was one whirlwind of a weekend. Lots of travel and a very exciting race!
My dad competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada, on Sunday (which I’ll get to at the end of the post), so the fam flew out for a Canadian weekend. This beautiful planescape made the painfully early alarm worth it. I still can’t get over how gorgeous this picture is! The clouds on the bottom look like a cloud ocean.
My dad was already in Quebec because he made the 13+ hour drive with his bike a few days earlier, so he picked up my mom, brother, sister, and I from the Montreal airport, and the five of us explored historic Old Montreal. Explored might be too glamorous of a term–we drove confusing circles around French road signs with GPS systems that could not locate anything–but finally we found our destination and ate lunch at a cute historic Polish cafe.
We walked through the center of the old historic city, and if you look closely, you can see TWO brides/weddings! One is on the right side, and the other is probably too hard to see, but the bride is standing between the pillars on the left-side building. There was also a festive flugelhornist playing in the background.
I looked at this unique statue while Greg checked out the dead bird on the ground behind it.We found our way from Montreal to our chateau in Mont-Tremblant a la Laura’s and my dad’s expanding mental maps of Quebec, and left this quaint location for a more modern athletic venue: Ironman Village and the race course!
2600ish bikes, all lined up and ready to go. The buildings on the hill are all chateaus/condos/whatnot where we stayed, along with many other athletes & families. It was nice to be so close, though that hill was a monster.
We walked around enough to get a feel for the best places to cheer on Sunday, and then we headed up the hill for an early bedtime. Irondad needed sleep, and the rest of us were soo tired…we joked that between my mom, Greg, Laura, and I, we maaaybe got 8 total hours of sleep the night before. Except it wasn’t a joke and it wasn’t funny because it was completely true.
The next morning, I got up at 5am with my dad and walked down the giant hill with him to the race start. Dark chilly air…loud music…people warming up…exciting atmosphere…I felt like I was about to run a marathon and started to get an anxious pit in my stomach, HA. Classical conditioning at its finest.
I wished him good luck and went on my own run before the race started at 8am. There was a nicely marked bike path right from the race venue…fool-proof for those of us who get lost easily…and I went out for a slow run, just as the sun was starting to rise.
I saw seven deer, and none of them seemed the least bit frightened by me. And because of that, I was kind of frightened by them and imagined myself getting hooved or trampled or something, so I turned around when I saw these two blocking the way with no intention of moving.
After a quick shower, Laura and I went down the hill to start our day of spectating. We headed down to the swim exit first and watched the first few waves get out of the water. The atmosphere was so so exciting! A man on a loudspeaker announced each swimmer’s name and country, and he kept switching between English and French. Laura commented that it felt like we were at the Olympics.
Then we watched the “Wetsuit Strippers,” which I had never seen or heard of before. After exiting the water, the triathletes had the option to run over to the Wetsuit Strippers, who were people who systematically threw you to the ground, yanked off your wetsuit, and pulled you back to your feet. The whole process took 3 or 4 seconds.
Then it was time to start watching for my dad, so Greg and my mom joined Laura and I at a clear spot along the swim to bike transition (it was probably a quarter-mile long transition), and we saw him run by! We cheered and then sprinted farther down the transition area to catch him again as he headed off on the bike. The bike is the longest section, so after that, we had plenty of time to walk around the venue, cheer on other athletes, see the first place runner, and eat lunch.
The energy at this event was awesome, and watching so many people cross the finish line after so much work and training was one of the most inspiring things ever.
Then we drove home for many, many hours.
Ever watched a triathlon?