Ironman Mont Tremblant

Saturday, August 25, 2012

IMMT - The Run

This picture was sent to me by Derek D who was supposed to race IMMT but life got in the way.  This picture was snapped by his dad after Derek yelled at me as I rode by.  I remember someone yelling my name so I waved.  I've never met Derek but we chatted on the phone once and exchanged emails.  While I'm sorry we didn't get to meet, I'm glad to hear he's signed up for IMMT 2013.  

They say in a triathlon, the real race begins on the second half of the run.  I just wanted it to end.  I was quite worried about the run.  I was hurt in the months of February, March (bailed from Around The Bay), April, May and half of June.  In fact, when I came up for NRG training camp in mid June, I could not run more than 15 minutes so basically I had less than two months to cram for the marathon.  My longest run was only two hours for 20.5 km.  A far cry from a marathon.

Heading out of transition, past the roaring crowds, I knew I could run the first loop but the second loop was going to be a problem.  The plan was to walk the hills and aid stations.  How hard could it to be to run from aid station to aid station when they were only 1.6 km (one mile) apart?  Very hard.  Very very hard.

About one kilometer into the run, I realized I had way too much crap in the pockets of my tri top.  I had a 35 mm film canister of salt pills, another one with Tums, Gu gels, three zip lock baggies of eLoad for my water bottle and a small tin can of mints.  At the first aid station, I threw out the mints.  I wasn't plan on kissing anyone at the finish line anyways.  I took the zip lock baggies out my tri top and ran with it in my hand....all for 21 km. 

Ok, so at this point, you're probably wondering why I'm running with so much crap:

1.  I need to run with a water bottle so I can drink when I need to, not when there is an aid station.  
2.  I tried Honey Stinger Gels (on course gels) a couple of weeks ago and they were way too sweet so I brought my own
3.  I need about 300 calories per hour and there was no way I was going to take in that many gels so the plan was to run with eLoad in my water bottle and refill at the aid stations.
4.  In training, I take in a lot of water so I need the salt pills to make sure that it gets absorbed by the body as well as I mixed regular salt pills with caffeinated salt pills.  One of my brothers took a nap during IMC because he was so tired. 
5.  The mints were to "freshen" my breath after taking gels and liquid nutrition all day long.  In hindsight, a pack of gum would have been better.  It doesn't weigh as much

The first couple of kilometers had some nasty hills that I walked, but once I got going I was ok.  We ran through the small town of Lac Moore where five guys standing in front of a pub were cheering us on with the theme song for the Montreal Canadians (hockey team).

Running along Le P’tit Train du Nord, a former railway bed made of crushed small gravel helped the pounding on the body.  This part of the trail run is roughly 5.5 km one way so with the turn around it works out to be about 11 km long.  The nice thing about it is that you can see runners heading the opposite direction and given all the people I knew it helped distract the mind.   Overall the first loop was no problem other than a bloated stomach.  I brought Tums in a film canister and was popping a couple of them but I didn't want to take too many considering I've never ate them in a race.  I used almost all the salt pills in another film canister (10-12 pills) for the first half.  Half way through the run, there was a light rain shower and I commented how glad I was to be off the bike.  Coming down Lac Superior or Hwy 117 when the roads were wet would not be fun.   Running back through the village of Old Tremblant, the boys were still singing Ole,Ole, Ole (ok, its been about 1.5 hours since I first ran by them). Heading back to the resort, we hit the hills again.  The strategy of walking the hills and aid station was working fine.   Heading into special needs, I picked up my bag and reloaded but I forgot my little baggies of eLoad.  Crap, that meant I'd have to drink Ironman Perform again!!  Oh this was going to be trouble has my stomach felt bloated and was getting sick of taking gels.  The whole idea of using eLoad was it tasted different and better.   Running through the pedestrian village the crowds were roaring.  Half way down, there was a Y split.  The finishers ran to the left while losers, I mean those heading out for their second lap ran to the right.  I'd be interested to know what my pace was as I definitely was running a lot faster with everyone cheering but slowed down once I got back on the main road.  I was really dreading this part of the run.   Running along the trail wasn't so bad the first time but the second time was going to hurt. My stomach was still bothering me as it felt bloated and I stopped drinking water.  I tried to take in more gels but was getting really sick of them.  I ran past the bar and the boys were still singing although they weren't standing that straight.   Heading onto the trail, it started to get darker and darker as storm clouds gathered again.  They had a set of lights strung up about every 500 meters.  One light faced one direction while another light faced the opposite direction.  That trail would be very dark once the sun set and I didn't want to be on it.   Somewhere along the way, I got a small rock in my shoe.  I stopped and tried to get it out but was having serious difficulties balancing and putting my foot down on the gravel trail only attracted more gravel to the bottom of my foot.  I couldn't bend my leg to brush the gravel off my foot.  I ran at least 15 km with a rock in my shoe.  It really hurt by the end of the race. At the aid stations, they started serving warm chicken broth.  I don't think I've ever tasted anything so good! It really did the job but I knew I had to take in more Perform as I wasn't taking enough gels.   Half way to the turn around point, it started to rain.  Steady at first and then harder and harder.  The soup tasted even better at every aid station.  The strategy of walking the aid station was working but I noticed I was walking longer than the aid station.  The simple act of starting to run again was very painful as the rain poured down even more.  It was just miserable but I was thankful I was on the second loop coming back from the turn around.   Through out the second loop of the run, I was running with Paul T who was coached by Cathy S.  We kept running side by side encouraging each other but at one point, I just couldn't keep up with him and kept walking while he took off.  This was the low point as my walking extended and instead of walking the aid stations, I walked to the next aid station.   I had my watch set to my running time when I started the marathon and wondered how long I'd been going so I changed the setting and I was around the 11 1/2 hours and I had about 8 km to go.  HOLY CRAP!!  I might be able to break 13 hours.  BANG!!  Like a light switch, I clicked on and started to run.  I was doing the math in my head as I ran.   My stomach was still bloated and gurgling as I forced down the disgusting Perform, but I started to dilute with with water and drank Coke. Finally I had to stop and use the toilet.  Ahhh relief except there was no toilet paper.  But there was one used piece on the floor.  Oh well.  Ya do what ya gotta to do. I caught up to Paul T and Tony M who were walking and said "come on boys lets go.  We can make it."  With that, all three of us started to run.  I still walked the aid stations and hills.  Running past the bar, where the BOYS WERE STILL SINGING!!!!  (ok I've been running for 4 1/2 hours).  These guys were hammered so I high fived them as I ran by.   The running picked up as I got closer to the village.  I could hear the announcer and the cheering crowds.  One more hill to go!  I ran through the hotel parking lot for the special needs pick up bag but stayed to the left.  I glanced at the people on the right picking up their special needs bag and felt bad for them as they were only on their first loop.   Right before I entered the top of the pedestrian village, I had a stabbing pain in my left hamstring.  OH NO!!  So close!!  I walked for five seconds and then started running again.  I had no idea where Paul and Tony were but I didn't want to get passed by them.  I started running down the village where the crowds were roaring and came up to the Y junction again but this time I cut left to the finish line.  I saw Tammy and the kids with Scobie (bastard - he beat me by almost two hours).  I gave a quick kiss to Tammy and just ran to the finish line.  I wasn't even sure if they called my name or Mike Reilly called me an Ironman.  I simply didn't care.  I just wanted to finish. 12:57:15 209/320 1101/1652 The best part about the finish was that my friend Rom caught me at the finish line.  I was a mess.  Rom had race Ironman New York the previous week and came straight up and volunteered at Mont-Tremblant.  In the next post, I'll have some pictures and my thoughts


  1. I didn't realize you had all the GI troubles on the run. Guess that's usually when they come out. Know the Florida, I ended up taking in only Coke for 42.2... nothing else would fit in the bloated belly!

    Too bad I missed you on the run - I was out in that rain 2x and couldn't help but feel horrible for you guys. I was literally glad I wasn't racing this year and kept saying to myself that you guys are real IM! Those were some tough conditions to battle, but you did it and with a great time to boot!

  2. For he record I beat you by almost three hours, not two (and yes I am a bastard).


  3. Congrats Peter! Reading your race report made me relive the race all over again.

    I love this race and venue and I am planning to do it again in the future.

    And you beat me by a minute, so I guess that you're the bastard now :-o)

  4. Very cool post! I like to see what I can learn by race reports. Ok, note to self... carry toilet paper.

  5. Just catching up on blogs. You may want to look into Infinit Nutrition if you haven't already, one stop shop for nutrition. You can adjust the formula and they will work with you to get something that is right for you.