Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ironman Mont-Tremblant Race Report

Ironman Mont-Tremblant.... where to begin with this report?

This being my second ironman I felt much more relaxed than last year at Louisville. I loved the cute village so much and enjoyed staying somewhat close to it. Close as in 400 meters up a big mountain! The night before the race I had a yummy dinner (steak, baked potato, and broccoli) and made it in bed about 9ish. I basically slept like a log. No dreams, no tossing and turning, no stress. I woke up at 4:45am feeling refreshed and ready to rock it for the day
Myself and my wonderful support crew headed down the mountain top at 5:15 and made our way to the transition area. I finished setting up my bike stuff and added some stuff to my swim & bike bags. Once getting down there though I realized that I forgot my frozen snickers for my bike special needs bags. This was not part of my nutrition plan so I would be fine without it but I was disappointed I had nothing to look forward to. Life goes on and I wasn't going to panic over something as yummy as a snickers bar.

Once all my stuff was in place, myself and my crew made our way down to the beach house for the swim start. This was about a mile walk if I had to guess, not really sure? It was about 6:15 at this point and I had plenty of time to use the bathroom, eat some snacks, and hang out with my friends and family before the race. I gave everyone a hug and kiss good bye and headed down to the water.

The Swim (2.4 miles) ~ 1:15:35
This year ironman started with a wave start instead of a mass start like in the years past. There was 8 waves and I was in wave 7. I think I would have been a lot more nervous with a mass start, but since it wasn't I felt calm. I strangely was not nervous for this race at all. It was more like, meh, it's just another race and I'm going to enjoy myself out there as much as I can and do want I can. I rinsed my goggles off in the water and adjusted them on last time on my face and before I knew it I was running into the water to start my second ironman.

I ran for a short amount of time then started swimming. The water felt good at about 66 degrees (I had on a full sleeve suit). And to my surprise I had no panic attacks! This is like the first tri ever that I didn't panic at the swim start so this was big news! I was so happy, I was calm. There was lots and lots of buoys and they were big so sighting wasn't at issue at all. I swam the buoy line and felt like I stayed on course most of the swim. To be honest, I didn't think about much while swimming besides concentrating on my stroke and being a Rumey. If you watch My Gypsy Wedding you know what I'm talking about :) I pretty much had the water to myself for the first half of the swim until the turn around point. It was around here that I caught up to the two waves in front of me and the wave behind me had caught up as well. But still I didn't have much contact so all was good. The water pretty much had no chop and it felt so fresh! It was my favorite swim ever!

As I approached the beach, I was still feeling awesome and checked my watch as I started to run out of the water. 1:14 something! OMG! Last year my swim time was around 1:24 so I was really happy! I ran under the arch and to the wet suit strippers. They had a little bit of a hard time getting my suit off but still probably faster than I could have done myself.

T1: 6:43
The run from the water into the changing tent is not close! A lot of people were walking this, but I ran as I didn't want to waste any time. As I ran I passed the crowds and saw my family! I was so happy and gave them a big wave to let them know I was feeling good! Once in the changing tent I dumped my bag out and quickly got my bike shoes on and ate a snickers. I ran over to my bike as putting my gloves on and was ready to roll

The Bike (112 miles) ~ 6:37:13  (click here for garmin profile if you are interested)
My garmin didn't find service right away so my miles were off by a little, but no big deal. I rode out of town and made my way to route 117. This section of the course is somewhat flat and fast! I was going 20mph and just went with it because it didn't feel hard. There was a tight U turn around mile 25 and a girl took a hard crash in front of me. I ended up going into the gravel to avoid crashing myself. I saw Victoria at some point on 117 and we chit chatted for a little. My favorite part of the course was going into a little town where lots of music was playing and people were cheering. Shortly afterwards we saw more crowds and I saw my family again. This is around the point that we start the section with all the hills. Basically for those of you who live in DC, it felt like it was River road on crack. I changed over to my small ring and just pedaled slowly up those hills. Some of the down hills were really scary. My max speed for the day ended up being 40mph. Ekk! I was taking a water bottle or IM perform at every aid station and had to go pee pretty badly by the time I hit special needs. I of course stopped and low and behold my snickers was in there! Joe had snuck it into my bag in the morning before the volunteers had taken our special needs. I was happy and thankful to him! My life saver! So anyhow I ate my snickers and made a bathroom stop.

I hit my first loop around 3:10 I would guess. I was still feeling really good and was like "yes, I'm having the perfect day." I was taking in around 200 calories an hour between chews & PJ sandwiches. My stomach felt great and I was drinking plenty. Once back onto 117 the wind really seemed to pick up. I much fun! And it seemed like we had a head wind and cross wind no matter what direction you were going. I wasn't as brave the second loop because of the wind and didn't take all the down hills in aero, too scary! The sun had also came out in full force and I could feel it blazing on my back. I had to make another bathroom stop around mile 75/80 because my bladder felt like it was going to burst and I just can't bring myself to pee on the bike. It was also around this point that an official on a motorcycle was yelling at me as I was making a pass. I had no clue what he said and thought I got a blocking penalty. From this point on I had no more songs in my head and was so worried about the official said. Did I have a penalty, didn't I? Ugh.

I was still feeling good around mile 100 and knew I just had another set of hills then I would be done. The hills were defiantly harder the second time around but I just pedaled slow again in my lowest gear. I felt like I had a little gas around mile 106 and no one was around so I thought what the hey I'm going to fart. Umm...shit...literally! I thought I shit myself. I spent the next 4/5 miles wondering if I was riding with poo in my shorts, ha! I didn't want to stop again, but I had to check my butt. Porta potties at mile 110, thank god!!! Ok, no poo, keep riding. But, ugh, one more stop at the penalty tent to check to see if I actually had one. I didn't want to get DQed for not stopping. They checked the paper and I didn't have one so I wasted some more time there, but better safe than sorry I guess.  I had a total of 4 stops on the bike which only totaled 5 minutes so I guess that's not too bad. My goal was a 6:30 split. So I just about made it and was happy with my over time on the bike. I actually thought I was going to be slower.

I finally made it to T2 and handed off my bike. I was ready for this run!

T2: 2:43
I really zipped in and out of here because I was already mad about wasting time with extra stops on the bike.

The Run (26.2 miles) ~ 4:50:12
I haven't even bothered to upload my garmin data yet, but anyhow... I ran out of T2 and realized I forgot to take off my bike gloves. I saw my sis and Joe and threw them my gloves and gave them a wave. My goal was to run this marathon with walk breaks of course at the aid stations. I might of went off too fast when my first mile was a 8:45. I slowed it down and my next 2 miles were around 9:30 which is right around where I wanted to be. It was really hot at this point and the sun was killer! The first three miles are very hilly then you make your way over to the point du nord running trail that is flat and shaded. It's an out and back that totals around 6 miles, then you make your way back to town on the unshaded hilly road for 3 miles. I was still feeling good when I hit the trail but my pace had slowed to between a 10 - 10:30. I was still ok with this pace though and wasn't upset about it. I was still running and feeling good. I was mixing it up by taking water, perform, pretzels & oranges and the aid stations.  I saw Rachel at one of the aid stations and it was nice see a friend out there on the trail :) Once off the trail my wheels started to come off. My stomach felt a little off and I made a bathroom stop. But, each mile got slower and by the time I hit the end of the first loop (2:13ish) I felt terrible. I saw my family and burst into tears when they asked how I was feeling.

I seriously didn't know how I was going to finish another loop. Another 13 miles! I felt light headed and dizzy like I was going to pass out. I knew I need food/sugar but the next aid station only had water. I spent the next 3 miles walking without even attempting to run. The next two aid stations I did drink coke and ate cookies. But my time got slower and slower. 16 minute mile, 20 minute mile and so on! OMG I felt like death. I was zig zagging as I was walking and was scared medical was going to scoop me up. I threw up along the side of the road and still wasn't feeling better. I threw my 12:30 & 4:30 marathon goal out the window. I didn't care what time I finished in at this point and told myself I just want my T-shirt and hat. But I knew I would be mad at myself later for giving up. I finally hit the running trail again and told myself it's flat and shaded and I have to attempt to run. So I ran. and I ran then next 10 miles and felt awesome. I kept my pace between 9:30 - 10:00 minute miles and couldn't have felt better! My 3 mile picnic break I guess is what my body needed. I felt like I was flying, I felt great! It's just sad I didn't feel like this the entire run. Before I knew it I only had a 5k left and I pushed myself those last 3 miles as I wanted to go sub 13. I made it back to the village and was running down the finishers shoot. I gave Karen a high five, I waved to my family as my sister screamed my name (I think I surprised her) and I held my arms up with a smile as I crossed under the finish line arch! I was done, I made it. I was an ironman :)

Total time: 12:52:26

I almost had a perfect day, almost! I PRed on every leg of the race and beat my Louiseville time by over an hour! Afterwards I said I was going into retirement and just sticking to 70.3s. But damn it, I want to have a better run, I can run faster than this, I know I can. Which just means I have to do another ironman :)

Also a big thank you to Jason, my family, and my friends. Your support and love mean the world to me. I loved everything time I saw you guys and it really helped get me through the long day. love you guys! 


  1. Great recap! Congratulations on so many PR's :)

  2. wow I am blown away by this. Honestly I would have given up on that run which sounds painful but you totally killed it. way to go!

  3. Congrats! You did a great job and it's amazing how you recovered after feeling so bad on the run!

  4. Glad I got to see you race! Proud of you for sticking through it. You'll get that perfect run someday soon :)

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  6. From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

    Hello Sarah,
    Just a quick email to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter that will benefit you. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘ANYTIME’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…Over 41K folks at your access...) I am currently following you now and am awaiting your follow-back...

    All the very best to you & yours for the rest of 2013 & beyond Sarah. Look forward to hearing from you…

    (PS. Sarah, should you follow back, I'll be mentioning you 'Including Your Website' in a 'Stand Alone' #FollowFriday #Shoutout this Friday...)


  7. Hi Sarah. I accidently came across you on daily mile and am do glad I did!!! I just signed up for my first Ironman.... and guess which? Mont-Tremblant! I'm in NoVa so maybe I can pick your brain (or train) sometime.
    Bt the way.... I just teared up reading this. You are such a rockstar can't wait to run down that chute!!

  8. To: Sarah K. #Ironman #Triathlete
    From: Darin Armstrong #TeamLIVESTRONG

    ***Special #FollowFriday #Shoutout To: @skarpers_dc #Ironman #Triathlete Team #Rage Member. @HoneyStinger #Ambassador -

    Hello Sarah,
    The above is what your #Twitter #FollowFriday #Shoutout will look like this Friday should you do a 'mutual' following with me on twitter. If you want changes made above, not a problem. ('Smart Individual Marketing/PR')

    Just a quick email to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter that will benefit you. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘Anytime’ for all #Ironman #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned for support…(Over 41K folks at your access...) I am currently following you now and am awaiting your follow-back...

    All the very best to you & your family for the rest of 2013 & beyond Sarah. Look forward to hearing from you...

    (PS. Reminder: Sarah, should you follow back, I'll be mentioning you 'Including Your Website' in a 'Stand Alone' #FollowFriday #Shoutout next week Friday....)