Saturday, August 16, 2014

The calm before the storm - 2014 IRONMAN North American Championship Mont-Tremblant

The 2014 IRONMAN North American Championship Mont-Tremblant (Quebec, Canada) starts early tomorrow morning at 6:36 a.m. from the beach on Lake Tremblant with the 2.4 mile swim.
It's a full Ironman.
  • 2.4 mile swim (3.86 km), athletes have 2 hours, 20 minutes to complete it
  • 112 mile cycle (180.25 km), athletes have 8 hours to complete it
  • 26.2 mile marathon run (42.2 km), athletes have 6 hours, 30 minutes to complete it.
The beauty and peace at the depart for the swim the day before the competition defies the cold front, rain, and fog that rolled in this week.
This week the nights have gone down to 9 degrees Celsius 9 (48 F). The days sometimes warmed up to 15 degrees Celsius (59 F). All this, and just last week some of us were bemoaning temperatures around 32 C (90 F), with a little humidity. 

The cold, rain and fog offers an ominous calm the day before the triathlon. The lake is quiet.
Today I felt very lucky to enjoy a few quiet moments at the Ironman swim departure site after the meeting of volunteer kayakers for swim support.
Tomorrow morning, the swim depart site will be quite the opposite when the beach and water is filled with action, athletes, and tremendous energy. 

Each swim buoy marker is 130 metres (426.5 feet) apart along the 2.4 mile swim. The 2.4 mile swim distance may not look like much on a small map that you see in a local newspaper. But, when you see the Zodiac boats hauling out, and quietly placing each numbered marker, the scale of the swim, and the distance the athletes will cover, suddenly starts to come into stark perspective. Wow! I'm happy I'll be in a kayak.
There are 13 numbered yellow buoys heading out from the swim depart at the Tremblant Beach and Tennis Club - they disappear quickly in the fog - there's a turning point - the swim is a loop - and 13 orange numbered buoys on the return stretch to Parc Plage. The distance between the yellow and orange buoys in the middle of the loop is about 400 metres (.2 miles). Swim support is inside and outside the swim loop and there are some resting platforms along the way at specified buoys.

There are many more details and lots of professional support for the athletes, but let's rest before the event and enjoy the peaceful foggy views.
It is my first experience as a volunteer for an Ironman competition. The dedication, organization, and the volunteer and professional support for the athletes at the event is incredible. Of course, the dedication and training the athletes go through, and the support from their families is another story. Why they do it is their story.

During the event, of course, we volunteer kayakers are on duty and working. No photos. The media and event photogs are onsite for that.
   
Best wishes to the athletes, their families, and their support teams at the 2014 Subaru IRONMAN North American Championship Mont-Tremblant on August 17.  

Happy and safe trails.
The BaffinPaddler   

2 comments:

  1. Wow - what a huge set up! But with 2600 competitors, I guess a huge set up is needed. The cold temperatures are a bit of a surprise: they may help in the afternoon, but would be tough for a swim. Good thing there are dedicated volunteers like you watching out for the swimmers!

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  2. Yes, it was a bit colder than normal for August, and the wind was up making for a tougher swim, but a more fun paddle. By noon, exhaustion hit me back at home, and I slept for 15 hours! In a total fog, and too tired to write a follow up post. I'll try to get to that later today - as I'm back in form, full of beans, and ready to run around the lake! Cheers :)

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