This summer was a historic season for the IRONMAN triathlon in Mont-Tremblant. With four events, including two international competitions, Mont-Tremblant has been able to mark its place in the top ranks of IRONMAN destinations. This is also the first time that the 70.3 World Championship took place outside the United States. More than once, while walking amongst the crowds, we’ve heard how our race is exceptional. The fairly high level of difficulty, the numerous supporters, the jovial atmosphere, and the great organization; all these elements have warranted admiration by thousands of athletes from 87 countries.
To understand the hype and the experience, we met Caroline Martineau*, a local athlete who participated in the North American Championship on August 17, who counted her experience and training at Mont-Tremblant. Here is our interview:
Tremblant: What distinguishes the Mont-Tremblant course from others?
Caroline: It’s a little colder! I got really chilly when I got out of the water and hoped on the bike, still a little damp. But the course is reassuring. I mean, the loop on the portion of the P’tit Train du Nord is great for benchmarks. You know how much you’ve got left when you pass by again the second shot. The hills are a great challenge and the run through the village is really unique.
T: What was your process in preparing for this event?
C: A lot of visualization, I wanted to stay in a positive mental state. Choosing the right clothes and the best snacks is also important preparation. You’ve got to adapt it all to the environment. I personally like gels and small chocolate bars. Physically, to prepare the bike portion, I trained a lot in the mountains, especially in Lake Placid.
T: What is your inspiration, what motivates you to do these races?
C: The older racers! Ha-ha! I didn’t understand the whole triathlon mentality until I saw people of all ages and levels of fitness perform in these crazy feats. They are inspiring to me because I feel they do it for the right reasons: health, fun, personal challenge … Not just for the competition or for the “look”.
T: What advice can you give to future competitors?
C: Be inspired. It is essential. No matter what happens to you, you must have a motivation. When it stops being fun, the balance of it all is lost. You get to really know you when you spend so much time talking to yourself! When you spend 5-8 hours racing, you learn to listen to your body and you try to answer. The way to do that is balance. You’re allowed to have fun! A good mental mind is as important as a good physique. It’s the balance of the two that’ll lead you to success.
T: What was for you the most memorable moment of your experience?
C: I have to say it is the closeness of the supporters all along the route. There are spectators at all points of the race that encourage you and give you high-fives! It’s great.
In conclusion, we would like to give a huge thanks to all the volunteers and supporters. Their energy was fantastic during every single competition and the success of these great events would not have been possible without them.
* Caroline Martineau has been working in the field of sports for 15 years and has been earning her living for three years in training and triathlons. She won her age group at the August 17th North American Championships in Mont Tremblant and will be in the professional athletes category in October in Kona Hawaii. (http://studioepix.com/en/trainers/1363-2/)