St George, May 1st 2010
IronMan St George: the kind of decision you take after a few beers…
One year ago, Francois and me pressed the button "register", with no cancellation possible :)
7 weeks before the race, after 6 weeks of sickness due to a parasite contracted in Chile, I was seriously considering giving up, and coming as a tourist and "Cheerleader" for Francois. But I finally get back "on shape" in time :)
Francois is living in Bora-Bora, Tahiti (a paradise Island, with only one flat 30k road around the rock), as the head doctor of the public "hospital", it is not always easy to get a full training completed without interruptions !
For more details about the 6 month before the Race: @see the Race Prologue
Our crew consisted in all Francois Family (parents, brother and sisters), and one of my brothers, Etienne with his wife, Polina
Where are you form ?
Heuuu: Bora Bora, Quebec, Germany, Bulgaria, Togo and France !
Actually there are too many things to see in these deserts: Las Vegas, Death Valley, Monument Valley, Sedona, Gran Canyon, Zyon, Bryce Canyon, etc… !
We spent the first days in Death Valley, amazing landscape !
We arrived in Las Vegas, staying two nights in this crazy city, enjoying the show (Cirque du Soleil), and free attractions in the streets, cheap luxury hotel and restaurant, and of course, some gamblings (and we won ;) )
And the best: the snow storm on the way to Bryce Canyon…
For more details about the last week before the race: Athlete’s interviews, and lots of Videos: @see the Pre-Race Report
Okay, the race:
Wake up at 3:45, go take a shuttle to swim start:
Cool, our bikes are still there :)
Water was very cold (57F, 13.8C), and wind were still strong(we were not able to train the days before due to 100km/h winds).
We tried to swim two days before, but could not put our face into the water.
The idea was to apply vaseline on the feet, face and hands.
Over 2400 registered participants, less than 1900 are starting (1600 finsiher), lots of them canceled due to the water temperature.
1mn before the start:
Before 1000m, water is so cold, I have to stop 5 times to remove the fog in my googles…
BIG mistake: my fingers are still covered with Vaseline ! So I was in the middle of the washing machine, trying to find a way to remove vaseline from my googles… I really get angry against me, no way to find a solution, except calming down, and trying to follow the bubbles… on the way back we are facing the sun, Sun + Fog, Niiiiiice !
Okay, after 1h13 minutes, I`m exciting the water, completely frozen, my worst time on the distance.
Quick transition, and on the bike, for the first hour, I just want to get warm !
Position after the swim: 598
Francois is taking it easy, with a huge smile ! He passed what was the most stressful leg for him :)
Starting my second lap, I already lap some poeple (the 2 laps begin after 35k) they are going to have a long day ! On the way back it is going down, but we have to keep pedalling due to the head wind, so no really rest time.
That´s on the bike that I felt the more my lack of training, only 6 weeks is not enough to get the volume and the quality work done. It was a bit frustrating, but when I think where I was 2 month before, loosing 7 kg, I´m happy to be racing this day!
I finish the bike in 5h40, at this point of the race, I`m 104 Overall, not far from my target: Top 100
My bike split and position are not as good as in Lake Placid (33rd Overall), but I would have signed for it:
Bike split: 5h40, 75th Overall, and 12th in my AG.
The first miles I felt good, as usual I get pass by a few runners that will fade down soon enough.
Then I get lap by the second overall, for 1 mile or two, I stayed 5 meters behind him, just for the fun, of course, that was over my pace, but we are here to have some fun !!
Wahooo, you want some fun, get it ! Mont Royal is definitely flat !! This race is crazy, it´s only going up, up and up, and down, down and down, and then you go back and do it twice… Run technique is definitely a bonus here, specially down hill !
Temperature is a bit warm, but it is ok, and as usual the aid station are super well organized, and animated !
Second lap, it’s becoming really tough, eventually I reduce the gap with some of my `targets´ and I did not get passed, that´s encouraging. But it’s getting really hard, I keep thinking: just keep running, even slowly, just keep running, lots of runners are burning out right now.
On the last 10k, we used to say that the real race begin here. Well, this time, I can’t open the machine before the last mile :(.
Happily, the last 3k are downhill, I pass three more competitors, and in the last 500m, I see the guy from my AG ! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR !! I’m pushing harder, making sure he can’t react at the mile 26, yes, It was for the 10th place in our AG :)
A little show on the finish line, and the Chicken Jump for our supporters in Montreal :)
Finnally I ran my marathon in 3h37 (67th Overall on the run split), ourunning 36 positions.
Final result: 10h38, 68th Overall,
I’m 10th in my Age Group (30-35), the last Hawaii Spot goes for the 7th, no regrets, even with a perfect preparation, It would have been very hard to get it !
My little regret: I finished a few minutes behind Jerome Bresson, a Pro from Quebec ( who took first place at the Fjord half IronMan last year, while I was third with a flat), he "burned out" on the marathon (running in 3h50), but I did not know he was so close because Pro were strating 15 minutes before.
Thanks to all the chickens, and all my friends and family for your support,
specially to Anne, Claire, Polina, Vero, Etienne, Francis and Jean who accepted our "invitation" to visit this area of the planet :)
Thanks to Trisports.com, who help me to get all the Tri gear in time !