My first IRONMAN

Early morning starts are a staple for any triathlete, and my IRONMAN race day was no different. Waking up at the ungodly hour of 3:45 am, I followed my ritual to the letter: bathroom, a hearty breakfast of a bagel with maple spread, a banana, and two eggs, and then off to prepare for the race.

Pre-Race Preparations

By 4:45 am, I was in the transition area, meticulously setting up my gear. I inflated my tyres to the precise pressures needed (90 psi in the back, 85 psi in the front), taped my gels for easy access, filled my reservoirs with water and Gatorade, and positioned my fuel cell. After stashing salt caps and Maurten gels along with a water bottle in my transition bags, I returned to my room for the final preparations: another bathroom visit, donning my trisuit, ensuring my timing chip was secure, and grabbing my swim cap and goggles. A brief meet-up with my friend Pascal and his family in the hotel lobby, and we proceeded to the start line, ready for the day ahead.

The Swim

The swim began more calmly than I anticipated. Positioning ourselves in the first waves of the rolling start proved to be a strategic move, allowing me to complete the 3.8 km swim in an impressive 1h06, surpassing my expected time.

Transition 1 (T1)

The journey to T1 was lengthy but energizing, thanks to the cheering spectators. After a quick change and sunscreen application, I grabbed my bike and set off, greeted by familiar faces along the way.

The Bike

Feeling invincible, I started the bike segment strong, maintaining an average speed of 32 km/h. The course presented its challenges, including a refreshing bout of heavy rain and strategic aid station stops for hydration. My encounter with Pascal and the varied bike setups of fellow competitors were highlights, along with the necessary comfort stops. Despite some energy dips and unexpected headwinds, I completed the bike segment, grateful for the lack of significant discomfort.

Transition 2 (T2)

Arriving at T2, I quickly switched to my running gear with the help of a fantastic volunteer, changed into dry socks, and made another bathroom stop before embarking on the run.

The Run

The run started strong, but I remained cautious, mindful of the distance ahead. Navigating aid stations and managing nutrition intake were crucial, as was dealing with the physical demands and occasional discomforts. The support from Pascal, Stéphane, and Jocelyn Normandin was invaluable, and the final stretch of the run was a mix of exhaustion and pride.

Finish

Crossing the finish line was an emotional and triumphant moment, marking the culmination of three years of dedicated training. The sense of achievement was overwhelming, enhanced by the supportive IRONMAN community.

Post-Race

The recovery tent provided a brief respite, despite my unsettled stomach. Conversations with fellow participants and the photographer were a welcome distraction before reuniting with Pascal for some celebratory photos.

Night Party and Conclusion

The evening was spent with friends and family, watching the final finishers and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. As the day came to a close, I reflected on the journey, the challenges, and the incredible sense of accomplishment that comes with completing an IRONMAN.

This race was more than just a physical test; it was a testament to the power of determination, preparation, and community support. It's a day I'll never forget.