About a year ago, I decided that one of my goals for 2014 would be to qualify for and compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Since none of the qualifying races in California fit my schedule, I traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina in June to race for my slot. The race in Raleigh was awesome – I got to stay with an amazing family (Tony and Lee), the course was beautiful, I had one of the fastest 70.3 races of my life, and I qualified for Worlds!

So, at the beginning of September I found myself in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. I had never been to Quebec before, and I absolutely loved it. Mont Tremblant is a ski resort town in the winter, so it’s the perfect site for a triathlon in the summer. Pretty much everything is within walking distance, and we barely drove the car once we were there.

The days leading up to the race were filled with lots of relaxing, enjoying the race atmosphere and taking in the beauty of the area:  On Thursday, we drove the bike course and found an awesome farm stand where we picked up a bunch of fresh veggies. On Friday morning, my husband (Greg) and father-in-law (Ed) participated in the 5K Family Fun Run. That evening, there was a concert by a U2 tribute band followed by a fireworks show.

Ed and Greg after their 5K run on Friday morning. They got to run across the finish line before I did!
Concert followed by fireworks on Friday night

Saturday involved the usual pre-race prep:  standing in a lot of lines to check in my bike and gear, trying to stay off my feet as much as possible, and eating a delicious pre-race meal in the evening. Since my in-laws were staying with us, my husband and I were able to add a new activity to the pre-race evening:  a game of Bridge. I can’t remember many details, but I’m sure Ann and I won 😉

Before I knew it, race day morning had arrived. My age group wave didn’t start until 8:32 am, so it was nice to be able to sleep in a little longer than usual. Since we were staying so close, I was able to walk over and check on my bike/gear bags before coming back to the condo to put on my wetsuit and relax a bit before heading to the swim start.
After a little more waiting, it was finally time for the Pros to start. This was my first time racing outside the United States, so it was the first time I’ve ever heard a national anthem other than The Star Spangled Banner sung at the beginning of a race. After hearing “Oh Canada,” everyone looked to the sky to see (and hear!) a Canadian fighter jet flyover. Seconds later, fireworks exploded in the air, and the pro men were on their way! 
Canadian fighter jet flyover at the swim start!


I was excited to race in my new ROKA wetsuit for the first time. ROKA is a company that I have been in love with ever since I first heard of them. They’ve got amazing products and even more awesome people that make up their company. When the zipper broke on my old wetsuit 2 weeks before Worlds, I took it as the green light to finally buy a ROKA suit. I wasn’t disappointed… the wetsuit worked out perfectly, and I had a great swim. I was able to find a pair of feet and stay on them the entire race, which is always exciting. 
“Flying” to the swim start in my new wetsuit 🙂
Swimming in Lac Tremblant


The bike started off a little rough for me. In the first 5 minutes of riding, I managed to drop my chain and get it nice and stuck. It took me several minutes to get that sorted out, but once I did it was smooth sailing. The biggest frustration I had on the bike was seeing the large number of people drafting. I was passed by many packs made up of of 20-50 people riding together. (For those of you who don’t know, drafting is illegal in long distance triathlon.) Apparently, drafting is a big problem in most of the Championship races since there are so many athletes of the same caliber racing together. I wasn’t prepared for this, so it threw me off a little bit during the first half of the bike course. After a while, I was finally able to ignore the drafting and focus on my own race. I felt great, stuck with my nutrition plan (Fluid and Bonk Breakers), and had my fastest bike split in years! 🙂
A successful bike leg, despite mechanical issues
My fastest bike split in years 🙂


The run was a 2-loop course that ended up being a lot more challenging than I had anticipated (which seemed to be the general consensus among most people I talked to afterwards). The best part about the run was the number of spectators. I loved hearing many of them cheering in French and yelling, “Bravo, Bravo!” … and I had to smile when, in the midst of that, I heard a guy with a thick Southern accent yell, “Good job, y’all!” My absolute favorite part of the run course was when we ran through the Pedestrian Village of the resort. It was the steepest part of the run (~24% grade), but the streets were PACKED with spectators cheering… which definitely put a pep in my step despite the difficulty of the terrain.
My favorite part of the run… through the Pedestrian Village! 
One of the few flat sections on the run course 
Into the finish chute, lined with flags from around the world
“Flying” across the finish line
Participating in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships was an awesome experience that I will remember for a long time. While I didn’t quite have the race I was hoping for, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to race and give my best on that day.
We’re in Canada – poutine after the race!!
My husband (aka sherpa, photographer, chauffeur, chef, and biggest supporter)


No race report would be complete without a huge thanks to the following, whose support I cherish every day I’m able to enjoy this sport:
  • My husband, Greg – for loving and supporting me in everything I do, taking so many awesome race photos, and seeing me 7 times on a run course where “you can see your athlete up to 5 times”
  • My parents, Bob and Jeanne – for supporting me from afar
  • My in-laws, Ed and Ann – for making the trip to Canada to watch me race, putting up with all the triathlon craziness, and for teaching Greg and I some more Bridge
  • Alisa Benson – for coaching me, challenging me, and believing in me