Summer Vacation 2013: Mont-Tremblant for the Iron Man

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Like many people, my husband Mark has a bucket list of things he wants to accomplish over his lifetime. On that list was to do a half Iron Man. He finished one in 2009 in Calgary. I don't remember the training being too bad, but we didn't have any kids. I do remember being exhausted after watching him for six hours and all I did was stand on the sidelines!

About a year ago one of his friends talked him into doing a full Iron Man. I'm sure there was alcohol involved in the decision. So suddenly completing the Iron Man was now on his bucket list. There was one coming up in Mont-Tremblant so that was the target.

Here's the thing: the training is pretty crazy. Several hours a week. Mark would be up at 4:50 every morning doing something and would be gone many a weekend riding his bike west of the city (did I mention that training started a month after I had Mila?). I had my days of swearing and breaking down. It wasn't always easy looking after two very young kids for that long, but over all it wasn't too bad. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Fast-forward to August. The training is done and we're off on the seven hour drive to Mont-Tremblant. Once we got to the cottage we were renting, it was like the past 11 months of training woes had disappeared. Mark was ready for the race, we were on vacation and I was so proud of him for coming this far and for working so hard to accomplish something of this calibre. I thought he was crazy, but proud.

For those of you unfamiliar with this race, let me break it down for you: there is a swim, bike and run. The swim is 4k, the bike is 180k and the run is a full marathon at 42k. The average time for this race is about 12 hours. Yes you read that right. The average time for the bike alone is 6 hours! So it was interesting with the kids to say the least. Thankfully I had Mark's parents there to help.

Leo and I decided to take the shuttle to the swim portion of the race at 7 am to try to catch Mark on his way out of the water, but unfortunately the bus took longer than we anticipated so we didn't get there on time.

This is what we would have seen had we made it to the water! All photos following are care of Iron Man

We did however get to see him on his way out for the bike which was nice. We headed back on the shuttle, missed our stop, and got a bit lost. Mark's Dad found us and we headed out to another spot to see Mark on the bike again.

We headed home soon after to get the rest of the crew, pack a lunch and head back out to the same spot to see Mark again on his way back from his first loop on the bike ride. He said it was nice because they were climbing a pretty steep hill so seeing us gave him some extra encouragement.

The next and last leg of the race was the run and there happened to be a nice spot pretty close to our house where we could watch. The kids needed a nap so we sat out the first pass-by, making it down in time to see him the second time through... or so we thought.

We were a bit off on the timing so we had to wait another hour to see him on his way back. By this time, it was 5 pm, it was hot, the kids were cranky (I was cranky) and the shuttle buses were packed to the gills. We had intentions of seeing Mark cross the finish line, but there was no way it was going to happen. I cut my losses and headed back to the house with the kids to watch the rest of the race online and have dinner while Mark's parents jumped on the shuttle to try to get to the finish line. I was pretty upset we couldn't get down there, but I knew it was the right decision.

Mark finished in 12 hours and 12 minutes which was amazing, but part of him thinks he should have pushed harder to finish under 12 hours. Regardless of his time I couldn't be more proud. It's so inspiring when you see the people out there racing... All walks of life and they're doing this. It makes you believe you can do it too.

Mark was fortunate to have his childhood next door neighbour Neil by his side pretty much the entire race. It would have felt much longer if they were alone doing this!

So that was the long-winded story of our Iron Man experience. We stayed an extra week in Tremblant which was so much fun. I'll share more about that in a later post.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:45 PM

    Wow! Congrats to your husband. That is quite an accomplishment.


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