IMMT ‘16 Complete! 13:31:39
The swim is a single “loop”, with a different start and end location. The start was actually quite a walk from transition, ~8-10 minutes to walk there. Extremely crowded at the start, had to put my wet suit on on the road before entering the starting area it was so crowded… really not spectator friendly at all. Not enough bathrooms either, the line was crazy long. I didn’t think I would like the single loop vs the 2 loops at LP and I was right, it just felt like I was swimming forever. Found it harder to pace myself because I never really know how far along I was. Much more chop than Mirror Lake as well, especially between the first and second turns when we were way out in the lake. Unlike the self-seeding rolling at LP, they released us in waves. I MUCH prefer the self-seeded rolling start of LP, I wish EVERY race would do it this way. People were all over the place in the water… the under water line at LP helps keep the entire field on a straighter path. There were people way inside the course here, though they were forcing them to go around the correct side of the turn buoy. Less contact here than at LP this year, but it would go from no one around me to a mosh pit at inexplicable times. The run from the water to T1 is longer than even LPs but this part was pretty uneventful. It was a bit crowded to get to the wet suite strippers who were a bit out of the way instead of lining the path like they do at LP (it’s a narrow swim exit at MT).
LP does transitions better. Here your bag is just on the ground and you run down the correct row and grab it. It was actually pretty easy to find my bag, I was a bit worried I’d be looking around for awhile. Instead of a M/F changing tent they just have a curtained area for each sex within the larger tent. Wasn’t a big deal but they didn’t have a pee trough in there like they do at LP, which would have been handy. You run in one side of the curtain and out the other towards your bike. Didn’t see any volunteers grabbing bikes for people like they do at LP, but I was able to find mine quickly.
I had read the night before that the rain was going to hold off until around 2pm… it started ~4 miles into the bike, It wasn’t too bad at first but it turned into a down pour pretty quickly that lasted ~4 hours. The bike course is mostly a huge out-and-back on a highway (maybe 50 miles out and back?), it’s a little scenic but nothing like LPs bike course. I saw a lot of officials on the course (likely easier to police since the majority of the course is an out and back). I didn’t see them penalizing anyone but they were asking that groups break up. Much fewer issues with drafting than there is at LP. I liked the aide stations at IMMT, they seemed to be spread out over a greater distance than they are at IMLP. It made it feel like I had a lot more/easier time getting the things I wanted. Overall I think this is a easier/faster course than LPs. However, there is a short out and back at the end of the loop that is harder than anything at LP over the same distance. Saw a girl going into hypothermic shock here on loop 1. The rain was really coming down hard at this point, some guy was going way too fast on the way back down and crashed bad. I must have just missed by a few minutes, didn’t look good. I was toying with taking the bike easy to see if it helped with cramping on the run. The rain made it an easy decision and I just took the bike at an “effortless” pace. Loop 2 was more of the same, wind and rain. I had no trouble hydrating this time, in fact I think I over did it a bit as I had to stop and pee 4 times in loop 2. Seemed like other people were doing the same because I had to wait in line at 2 of the stops.
Again found my bag easily but took a bit longer here to get dried off and change socks etc. No bathrooms in transition kinda stinks.
Immediately after leaving transition I spotted my parents, Cindy and the kids and went over to say hello. They were standing next to the ports potties which smelled god awful, probably why my family was able to find an open spot nearby. Said goodbye and off I went for loop 1 of the run (after a pee break, people unleash some gross stuff in those things during an IM). I felt good starting the run, certainly better than at any other IM. I actually like the run course quite a bit at IMMT. It’s largely a out and back on a narrow run trail but I didn’t mind it. It was flat and being narrow it made it easy to see all the other people running in the other direction. I was also able to eat some solid food on the run for the first time. The pretzels were actually kind of appealing, every other IM I was like “Who the hell would want pretzels?”. They kept yelling out “jello” at the aide stations and waving a cup. I was assuming there was like a cube of jello in there or something. After a few aide stations I was like ya know that sounds kinda good, it’ll give me a little sugar boost! Got one at the next aide station, kind looked like lemon flavored… nope just a slimy (wet from rain) shot blok, apparently that’s what they call them there. Finished up loop 1 and got to see the family again. The run cuts you through pedestrian village which is pretty cool. No cramping, maybe because it wasn’t that hot? maybe because i took it easy on the bike? maybe both? in any case I felt stronger starting the 2nd loop than I ever have before. That’s not to say I wasn’t tired, I was but I felt less ready to fall a part than I have in the past. Heading out of town at the start of loop 2 I thought “Ugh how am I gonna do 13 more miles”. You’ve got to quickly banish thoughts like that and just split things up into mini goals… don’t at any point in an Ironman stop to think about everything you’ve got lying ahead, just take it one step at a time. I started taking it aide station to aide station. Loop 2 went by pretty quickly even though I knew I had slowed down some. I did speed walk through the aide stations and up a few hills but other than that I was able to run the entire marathon for the first time, no cramping! Last few miles I knew I was going to be close to 5 hours. I was really hoping to come in under 5 so I tried picking up the pace a bit. Things looked good on my watch but I know it sometimes auto pauses through the aide stations so I wasn’t exactly sure how long it’d been (I always forget to turn off auto-pause!). Finally entered pedestrian village with < 1 mile to go, saw my dad who yelled that Cindy was on the right in the bleechers at the finish. The entire area through the pedestrian village is lined with people yelling and cheering. It’s got more energy then the oval at LP, at the time I finish anyways. Saw my mom Cindy and the kids off to the right as I crossed the finish. Kinda felt like the volunteers hustle you away pretty quickly here, but it is narrow so they probably need to clear you out quickly.
Had an appetite for the first time at an Ironman finish. Last few miles I kept thinking about the pizza and fries I was going to eat! Apparently the menu is different at each Ironman, no pizza for me, They did have fries though, with cheese curds and gravy which seemed to be really popular in Mont Tremblant. Ate those and some pasta, even had a little bit of coffee before leaving the finishers tent and meeting up with the family. Had some pain in my left foot (still do off and on) but otherwise my legs felt fine, big different from LP where I could barely get up the stairs.
IMMT vs IMLP:
Both have their strengths, and both are great events but if I had to choose one, I’d go with IMLP. * Town: Prefer IMMT
I love LP but MT is just a cooler place. If the kids were older their would be a ton of activities for them to do. One downside to MT though is I didn’t think it had the “energy” that LP has leading up the the event. I think it’s because LP is just so dominated by everything IM that week. * Swim: Prefer IMLP
Hands down, everything about the IMLP swim is better. * Bike: Prefer IMLP
Harder course IMHO but it’s much more scenic with a greater variety of challenges. * T1/T2: Prefer IMLP
Bags all in one place, larger changing area, bathrooms in transition, volunteers getting your bike off the rack. * Run: Prefer IMMT
Course seemed flatter, easier to see the other athletes because it’s narrow. * Finish: Prefer IMMT
The chute is lined with people through the whole pedestrian village and everyone was cheering more than they do in LP at the time I finished. * Finisher tent: Prefer IMLP
Slightly better menu, you can see your family/friends. The finisher tent at IMMT is sort of secluded so you can’t see anyone. * Midnight Finish: Prefer IMLP
Just more room at IMLP for everyone to gather in one place, there isn’t much space at the finish at IMMT.