On August 19th, 2018, just under 3000 eager athletes, including 581 first timers, ages 18-80, raced in the 6th Annual Ironman Mont Tremblant. I was included in these athletes, along with our members Darcy and Tom Wefers and Louise Engelmann.
Nestled in the heart of the Laurentians, the entire Mont Tremblant community, and almost as many volunteers as athletes, welcomed the race and racers with open arms and smiling faces. On this day, after an hour delay due to heavy fog, the CF 18s flew low overhead, the athletes sang the national anthem, and then, on the sound of the starting cannon, the steady flow of athletes headed into the water. It was a long hot day with each athlete overcoming their own obstacles on the way to successfully crossing the finish line, proud to hear those hallowed words: “You Are an Ironman!”
For those who don’t know, an Ironman is a triathlon event with a 17-hour deadline, providing the opportunity for athletes to test their limits of endurance and mental fortitude. After 6-8 months of long training hours and sacrifice, both from the individual as well as their families, the athletes are required to complete a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike, and a 42.2 km run on their way to becoming an Ironman.
After previously completing 6 Ironman races, some with pretty decent times and others a bit slower, I realized that, ultimately, the event is about commitment to a goal and doing everything possible to reach said goal. Over the course of such a long day, there are many things that can get in an athlete’s way, such as blisters, nutrition, heat, and flat tires, among others. Reaching that finish line is about more than just completing the race, it’s about achieving that goal you set months, and sometimes even years, previously, no matter the obstacles you face along the way.
Many of your fellow members have completed an Ironman, and proudly wear the IM tattoo as a testament of the fortitude it requires. The next time you see one of these IM tattoos around the Club, take a moment to congratulate the member on completing this incredible feat and being an Ironman!
Blair Larsen, Personal Trainer & Certified IronMan Coach