Joe and I headed up to Mont Tremblant for a training weekend on Friday afternoon. The car ride took just about 6.5 hours. It only took about 5 minutes to get through Customs. There was a line of only 2 cars ahead of us. I saw different reports on what food we could bring across the border especially regarding fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, but all food is allowed (with limits far greater than I could ever exceed). We packed a cooler filled with our food for the weekend.
|Waiting in line at Customs|
|Eating food I had packed|
I was excited to see what this course was like, how it compared to the Ironman Lake Placid course. People have been posting reports on slowtwitch and various forums and a lot of people were reporting a HILLY course. I had read a couple of reports, but I really haven't been paying too much attention to what people have been saying. In a nut shell, let me say that I really love this course. It is not as bad as I was expecting at all. The hills are extremely manageable. I was in aero position for most of the course- and that is very atypical for me. It is not technical at all with very few turns. There are small signs with the M-Dot icon along the course with arrows as to which way to go, but not enough to solely follow these signs. It was good that Ted had printed out cue sheets for the few turns we did need to make. Very little bike handling skills are needed, which is good for us triathletes- well at least me! The consensus among the group was that this course is easier than the Lake Placid bike course.
|Bike Course Map|
Parts of the road were just freshly paved, and they are actively working on finishing the rest. I would imagine they are aiming to have this all done by the 70.3 at the end of June. The road will be closed during the race.
Route 117 has some gradual rolling hills. There is nothing very steep and you can really get into a rhythm. I felt very comfortable riding this road. The speed limit is 90km (about 57 mph), so the cars flying by were a bit nerve racking at certain sections. By race day, when all the paving is done, this part of the course is going to be great.
You go back past the transition area (which is currently a dirt/gravel parking lot). They are working on this right now as well. This aspect will make it very spectator friendly since friends and family will be able to see riders 4 times on the bike course.
The second out and back is completely different. It is on just a regular road. It is very nicely paved and smooth. The climbs are steeper, but they are shorter, and there is nothing too hard. I was up out of my saddle more on this out and back than I was on 117. There road has some more twists and turns than 117, but nothing crazy.
My Garmin reported 5148 ft of climbing. All in all it is a great course.
We are staying at the Marriott Residences Inn, which is right in the middle of the action. It is right near the finish line and transition area. Race week, we have a condo, but this hotel was a perfect choice for the weekend. We have a full kitchen and a sitting area with a lot of space. When we checked in the receptionist told us that bikes weren't allowed in the room, but when she realized we were training for the Ironman she said "Oh they must be expensive. For Ironman athletes, you are allowed to bring in the bikes." She gave us old sheets for us to keep our bikes on in the room. We had a dinner inspired from Allen Lim and Chef Biju's book "The Feed Zone". It was quick, easy and great for after a long training day. I didn't have the energy to even look at the recipe and measure anything, so I created the meal based on the crispy chicken dish I had made before. Here is a quick recap:
Ingredients (approx measurements):
Coconut oil for cooking
1/2 cup Millet
2 Organic Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup raisins
1 jalapeno or other hot pepper
4 cloves garlic
3 stalks Kale (any kind is fine, though I used red)
1/2- 1 cup Cilantro
Sea Salt to taste
Cumin to taste
1 sweet potato
Dressing (Olive oil, Sea salt, Lemon juice from 1/2 lemon)
I brought my rice cooker and made millet:
Once the chicken was done, I shredded the chicken and added it to the pan with the kale, onions, garlic, peppers and raisins.