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Ironman Mont Tremblant - Part one - the swim

Oh yeah, it's early in the morning, very, very early ....

this song always sticks to my head together with 'Bruttosozialprodukt', when I am really early up for a race. 3:30-ish. Martin had it all figured out - he did the logistics this time. So there was a shuttle service to the transition. The kids could sleep in for the race course passed our part of Mont Tremblant at km 60 and then again on the second round. So they just could have breakfast and comfortable arrive there to cheer me on.

Martin and me took the car to the parking lot, took a shuttle to T1/2, arrived there and I set up everything. Gu already was on the bike, I added the mandatory PB-Jelly sandwich, opened the clif and oatking bars, put on the water bottles, sorted out where I had put the salt tablets, got sunscreened, bodymarked (none of the latter in Germany).

There was a 10-min walk to the swim start. I put on my wet suit when we were almost there, avoided sand inside by doing so on asphalt, then waited almost forever at the port-a-potties (this really would be my only suggestion to improve the race - more of the above...). Unfortunately this prevented me from cheering the previous waves into the water but - oh well, I heard the cannons.

To the beach - we could see the buoys, but only the first few. The air was misty and the far end of the one-loop-course was not visible. Yet, ingeniously, they had color coded buoys, which even had numbers. I knew it was thirteen out plus the turning buoy, and the same on the way back in. Remember, my plan was to swim (I knew this should work with the weird disk of mine) and to cycle as long as possible before probably dnf-fing. Arriving in Mont Tremblant this had been set in my brain. Mike Reilly's intro  at the dinner kind of got me into the 'maybe' status. Yet, that day I was taking nothing for granted. Not that I ever do with an Ironman race, but here especially not.

Well, time ticked us ol' ladies toward the last wave's start and then - we were admitted to the starting chute and the signal went --- off --- together with fireworks.

Running into the water - well, not so much, for everyone took their time. And then it really got narrow. We had vgot all the lake and everyone scrambled close to the buoys. Maybe it was the low visibility but it really got tight in there. On the plus side - barely any breaststrokers (remember - this is not Germany) and so the tightness was well bearable for I didn't have the fear of a strong breaststroke kick in my head.

On the way out I did not count the buoys. Just made my way from one to the next and with no currents or wind, navigation went smoothly. I only zigzagged when I was evading too tight areas.

Eventually I reached the far turn point buoy - swam the short distance to the second turn buoy and then it was back in.

This time I looked for the numbers on the buoys. 13, 12, 11..... It felt like going by quickly and I ended up at the swim-exit, where I still swam when everyone else seemed already walking (I usually swim until I stir up the ground with my fingers and it's as quick as walking but less effort) Some volunteers helped us to get into upright position and then - as always since living in Europe - I started putting off the wet suit. Someone called me for that because there were peelers present. No such luxuries in Europe, but I definitely enjoyed not to have to peel this thing off myself.  A fairly long run into transition got my blood flowing in my legs. Grabbing my bag, I went  iinto the tent, put on shoes and helmet and my run dress (this is ingenious - while adding some bits of drag I'm not getting sunburned on my back anymore...) hobbled to my bike and off I went to the part my spine feared most...