On Sunday, Aug. 26 we both crossed the finish line at Ironman Canada. It was such an incredible day! Thank you all for your kind comments and support leading up to the race.
I’m going to break down my race recap into a few parts. It’s fun to reminisce when I write the posts, and it’ll be awesome for me to go back and read later.
If you don’t want to read them all (or just can’t wait!), here are the stats:
Total time: 12:06:56
3.8km/2.4 mile swim: 1:14:41
T1: 8: 17
180km/112 mile bike: 6:49:12
42.2km/26.2 mile run: 3:49:49
Kelly decided, with less than a week to go, to do the ironman. Although he had signed up, swim cramps and knee pains made him decide not to do it and instead spectate and cheer. As the event approached, he got wrapped up in it and decided to give it a whirl and see how his body handled it.
I was so happy we were in it together! We arrived in gorgeous Penticton Thursday morning and headed to Ironman Village to register and check out the Ironman store.
On our way there, we saw a Challenge press conference. Turns out that Ironman Canada 2012, the 30th anniversary, was the last one. The Challenge Family will host Challenge Penticton in 2013, using the same course. Ironman is looking at other venues in Western Canada to host a different Ironman Canada in late August/early September. A lot of people were upset by this, and at the athlete dinner I began to understand why (more on that later).
The vibe around town, and especially in Ironman Village, was awesome! After a little wait in line we got our numbers, five gear bags, and timing chip and strap. Then we hit up the store. The store is a dangerous place and it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the excitement! Many dollars later, we walked around the rest of the village.
Later that day we headed to the lake in our wetsuits to test the waters. It was windy and the lake was choppy. I wasn’t impressed with how I was swimming, but I loved my new Garmin 910XT tracking my distance! I knew that if the lake was choppy on Sunday I’d be able to do it, but it would be a rough go. We also started packing our transition bags.
On Friday, we took our bikes out for a spin to stretch out the legs and ensure our bikes were working well. My (new) cables had stretched quite a bit so my bike wasn’t shifting well at all. Thankfully, Kelly the mechanic fixed it without any issues. (The same thing happened to me before IMAZ in 2010 and I was panicked!)
My parents arrived on Friday so it was fun to share in the excitement with them. We walked around the Athlete Village again and then walked around town. We headed to the Athlete Dinner on Friday night. It was held at the convention centre and I couldn’t believe how many people were there, all for the same reason.
The dinner program was so inspirational. In addition to announcing the oldest (Sister Madonna) and youngest (four 18-year-olds), they also had a beautiful three or four part video of the event history and various years and inspiring people and moments. There was footage dating back to the original race, a compelling story, and many interviews.
Other than Hawaii (the birthplace of Ironman), IM Canada was the longest running Ironman. In 1983, the first year it was held, there were only 23 competitors. There were three gentlemen there who after finishing Sunday’s race would have finished 29 of the 30 events!
They also went over the race stats:
- 2,977 people registered
- 1,999 men
- 978 women
It was a great dinner and made us even more eager to get it started!
On Saturday we went for a light jog, ate breakfast, then rode our bikes over to the drop off.
We went back to the hotel and finished packing our transition bags. I wish I had remembered to take a photo of the process, as there is a lot of thought and gear that goes into the bags.
I had made lists at home to ensure I took everything and more to Penticton. It was really nice to have the lists with me so check and recheck that I packed everything. We also packed our bento boxes for the bike so we wouldn’t have much to do later on.
After taking our T1 and T2 bags to the drop off, we walked around town a little more and tried to calm our nerves. Then we had an early, and delicious, dinner with my parents before heading back to the room to chill out.
I stayed put and read for a long time. Kelly was antsy so went down to the lake for a while!
I couldn’t believe that we both slept pretty well. Before we knew it, our alarms were going off at 3:37. It was time to roll!
Next up…the gorgeous swim in Okanagan Lake!
Do you sleep well the night before a race?