Ironman 70.3 World Championship

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.IMG_0820

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.IMG_0827

I got pork & rice cabbage wraps in tomato sauce with purple cabbage salad and potatoes, and it was the best meal ever, potentially skewed by how hungry I was. IMG_0829

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.IMG_0838

I looked at this unique statue while Greg checked out the dead bird on the ground behind it.IMG_0840We 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.

Dad with the three kids.  Thanks for being photographer, Mom!IMG_0874

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.

The path was adorned with signs in French.  I hope Courbe Raide means something along the lines of “turn right”?

I came across this sweet-looking bridge.IMG_0906

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.IMG_0925

The weather was perfect.IMG_0930I ran 25 minutes out, 25 minutes back, and ended with 10 minutes of hill repeats.  My glutes were on fire.

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.DSCN1891

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.DSCN1892

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.

We saw him again at the halfway point of the run!DSCN1902

And at the FINISH! DSCN1904Yay Dad!  We’re so proud of you!

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?


10 thoughts on “Ironman 70.3 World Championship

  1. Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive, that is beyond cool that your dad computer at the world championships!!!

    What a fun and inspiring atmosphere! It certainly sounds like it was a whirlwind but the best kind!

  2. SOOOOOOOOOOOOO AMAZING!!!! Congrats to your dad! I’ve always wanted to watch an Ironman! The whole experience really does sound like the closest thing I could get to the Olympics. I have watched/cheered at a sprint tri. SO much fun!

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