The first North American IRONMAN was held in 1986 in Penticton Canada; the tradition and sole of Ironman Canada moved to a region of Whistler hosting this prestigious event. It is big enough to have all the amenities of a world-class resort, but has held on to its unique mountain culture and hospitality. The vibrant base Village, hiking trails, epic skiing and snowboarding, four championship golf courses, restaurants and bars, and accommodation to suit every budget, make it a natural fit for IRONMAN Canada.
Like a few of the "founding Ironmans" the history and the spirit of Ironman racing originated in these towns and communities. Like Ironman Australia moving from Foster Tuncurry to Port Macquarie, the venue has changed but the heart and prestige of these historic events has not.
This is why i came to Canada, i know now that their are numerous Ironman events spanning across the globe now, but for me i've always been drawn to the sole of the sport, not the destination. When preparing for a full Ironman mentally, i need some meaning behind the events, it's a long day and to go through the rigorous 8hrs plus racing i need to commit to the cause, so for me history is one of my key inspirations to go to this event.
Race day, was almost perfect conditions, the swim was clean beautiful calm waters (except of the 2nd lap) where you had to negotiate through the masses of an ammuter field, luckily it didn't slow me down too much and i was in a nice position exiting the water in 2nd place just on the toes of 1st.
Really didn't know what to expect on the bike, i arrived late into whistler with no time to look over the course, and the course maps where not very clear and did not really indicate how hilly the course was.
So i went out quite fast (as you do in racing) and took out the timex bike preme early in the race,
After which Uber biker (uber athlete) Marino Vanhoenacker put the hammer down on me and broke away shortly after down one of the descents.
I soon after settled into more of a reasonable bike pace to get through the Ironman in one piece.
By the closing stages of the bike, Marino was miles ahead crushing the bike and i was still 2nd but with defending champ Trevor Wurtele only a 1min or so back.
Starting the marathon i just tried to settle into a comfortable rhythm and not blow my gaskets too early.
Trevor soon passes me which he looked quick and comfortable, Jeff Symonds was which seemed to be miles behind at the first turn around on the run looked like he was too far back to make a difference in the podium.
Boy i was mistaken, it seemed not too long after that, that he caught me on the marathon. He was flying, running a 2.40 marathon on which was anything but a flat course.
Jeff ended up running into 2nd, during which i had to not give up too much emotionally or physically it would of been easy for me to just give up, it seemed like everyone was starting to look better than me, i just got on with it and just tried to do what i could do. Fortunately for me, Trevor had hit the wall, and i caught up with him with about 9 km's to go, by then i just grinded away and was fortunate to pull off another Ironman Podium for the year.
Just to show how well the mens race was, the top 3 (yes me too ;) all went under the previous course record so if was tight and fast!