Aug 31

Race Report: Ironman Mont Tremblant – Run

In case you missed it…

Short Version

Overall, I had a great run. I suffered through some low points that was due to poor nutrition, but I have learned from my mistakes and know what to change in the future. The course was a lot of fun and after I got my nutrition straightened out, I powered in for a strong finish.

Time: 4:11:19
Pace: 9:36 min/mile
Overall Place: 297/2097
AG Place: 18/83

Finish Time: 10:49:27 (maybe?)

Long Version

After a super successful bike ride it was time to knock out a quick marathon. No big deal right?

I started off the run feeling super strong. I will still riding pretty high from the bike and left transition with a huge smile on my face.

2012-08-19 13.39.44-1

On the way out of the transition, I finally got to talk to Jennie for the first time all day. It was actually kind of funny because as I ran down the chute, I saw this guy waving his arms like crazy and pointing down at Jennie. Apparently he and Jennie had been talking; he asked what my number was and said that he would help look for me and make sure that I didn’t miss her.

621852_4467759010987_1001427418_o A Hoka hug! We have a new convert to the Hoka nation!

About 2km in, I spied an unoccupied port-o-jon and jumped in to empty the bladder. I’m hydrated, I thought. That’s a good sign. I jumped out and kept going strong. The first portion of the run is actually pretty hilly, but I was feeling good in my Hokas.


The feeling didn’t last long though. All of a sudden my stomach flip flopped on me and it felt like I had done too many crunches. I eased up my pace a bit and took some walk breaks through the aid stations hoping that it would go away. I was burping whenever I could to try and relieve some of the discomfort to no avail. I popped a couple Maalox and that helped a little, but not nearly enough. My pace slowed down and while I didn’t get too down on myself, I was a bit frustrated that the nutrition I had practiced all season long wasn’t working.


I managed to keep the pace under 9:00 min/mile for the first 15k, but after that I was hurting. Not only was my stomach upset, but I was starting to bonk. In hindsight, I knew I was bonking but was too stubborn to do anything about it. I knew that the Coke would probably help, but I was worried that if I started taking it too soon, I would be dependent on riding the highs of the Coke and fighting through the lows as it wore off. For that reason, I was making myself wait until the 2nd half to start drinking it. Lesson learned. Listen to the body and do whatever is necessary.

This is the face of a bonk.

The course itself was fairly challenging. There were a few rollers at the beginning of each loop, but they weren’t that bad. The course was more mentally tough than anything. On each loop you have to do an out and back on a narrow trail going 5km in each direction. It is flat, straight, and seemingly never ending. There was a few spectators out there, but it was pretty quiet except for the aid stations.  It was hard to chat with other runner’s as well because of the language barrier.

One of the cool things about the race is that it was marked in KM instead of miles. So instead of 26 signs, there were 42. That may sound demoralizing because 42 > 26, but it actually kept my mind busy doing the conversions in my head. Also, one of the cool things is that I completely missed the 20 mile wall. Generally, during a marathon, I will dread the 20 mile mark. However, with KM’s, I hit the 34km mark, calculated that I only had 8km to go and realized that I blew past the 20 mile mark without even realizing it!

At the halfway point, which is totally demoralizing by the way because you can see the finish line as you start the 2nd loop, I finally looked at my watch for the first time. 2 hours. Sweet! Much better than I thought. I wore my Garmin but I had turned off the autolap feature and was determined not to constantly look at it during the race. Seeing the finish line while starting the 2nd loop is always hard, but at least I got to see Jennie again before heading out.

2012-08-19 15.34.03

Like the bike course, there were a lot of out and backs and turnarounds. This allowed me to keep an eye out for everyone. I saw Jon at nearly every turn around and was convinced that he was gaining ground on me. It was one of the motivations that kept me moving. I saw pretty much everyone out there at least once and it was great to know everyone was off the bike and that much closer to the finish line.

Shortly after the halfway point, I hit a low point in my bonk. There is actually one point where I remember seeing Jon and I remember him saying something to me, but couldn’t comprehend what he said and just mumbled a response. I was a bit delirious to say the least. At this point, I started to drink Coke and chicken broth at the aid stations to combat it. Holy crap is that stuff good! It was sort of chilly  out and we had a few briefs drizzles so the warm chicken broth tasted like heaven. In the future, I really have to be less stubborn and start taking the good stuff earlier in the race.

One crazy thing that happened was on my second loop of the course. I was out on the 10km out & back stretch. At that point there was a steady stream of runners going in both direction.  All of a sudden, about 50 yards a head of me, a deer leapt out the woods and jumped across the trail narrowly missing a pack of runners. Yikes! I think I would have shit myself had I been just a little faster.

I started to pick it up a bit with about 11km to go. My stomach was still lurching on me, but I was determined to fight through it and finish strong.  Finally with 8km to go, I got myself to puke. Not much, but enough to make my stomach feel 100 times better. It was like I was a completely different person after that.

Thanks for cheering and not throwing rocks Beth!

With my stomach feeling better, I was determined to finish strong. I picked up the pace and realized my legs still had some speed left in them. I got my pace down to under 9:00 min/miles again and was even flirting with some 8:00 min/miles. My watch died just after mile 24, but I think my last couple miles might have even been sub-8 pace with the way I felt.

The Finish

What an amazing finish! The course wraps through the village and the last .5km is completely lined with spectators 3 deep on each side of the road. They basically carry you to the finish with their cheering. I really wanted a good finisher’s photo this year (unlike IMWI) so I eased up a bit in the finisher’s chute and made sure that I was going to have the last 100 yards more or less to myself.

I ended up crossing the finish like in 10:49:27!!!* That is a 1 hour and 5 minute PR over IMWI last year!!! Woooohoooo!!!!

*Officially my time is 10:49:27. The clock in the picture shows 10:49:17 but apparently runners where reaching up and slapping the clock as they crossed the finish line and they had to reset it a bunch of times.

2012-08-19 17.50.06 0219_39580
High fiving the crowd as I made my way around the final stretch. I threw my arms up when I realized that I was going to finish sub-11. I had been trying to do the math in my head, but I wasn’t positive what my run time was after my watch died.



2012-08-19 18.04.34 2012-08-19 18.23.23
Enjoying my finisher food. Beer, fries, subway, chocolate milk and Coke.

2012-08-19 18.11.13So happy to be reunited with my biggest fan and supporter.

Post Race

We hung around at the finish line for a bit hoping to see Jon or Jeff who I knew were just behind me. However, as we waited around, the skies opened up and it started pouring. We couldn’t get back to the hotel room quick enough. Thankfully our hotel was super close to the finish line but we had to walk about twice as far as normal to get around all of the barricades. By the time we got back, I was shaking like a leaf. So, what better way to solve that than to jump into an ice bath right? Jennie had been making ice in the freeze since we arrived so we had a giant bag of ice just for this purpose.

2012-08-19 18.52.29
It hurts, but it is totally worth it.

2012-08-19 19.07.29
After my ice bath, we noticed that a rainbow had formed seemingly ending at the finish line.

This is a picture I grabbed off Facebook of runners finishing up the course under the rainbow.
How cool is that? (

2012-08-19 19.41.24
After showering it was time to refuel and catch up on FB. I parked myself by the window so that I could watch the finisher come in.

2012-08-19 22.16.30
After everyone was finished and cleaned up, I headed over to Jeff’s hotel to have a beer with him and Dave (who completed his first IM).

2012-08-20 11.03.12 2012-08-20 11.06.23
It was cool that they left the finish line completely assembled until Monday afternoon so that you could get your picture taken under it. I got with my friend from high school Rebecca who completed her first IM and then with Steve (Steve’s first IM as well) and Rebecca for our Striders Team.

And finally, I leave you with how I concluded the evening -heading back down to the finish line to meet up with Jon and Beth and Jeff and Annie to watch the final finishers come in. It was awesome because the winner of race, Romain Guillaume, came back out to hand out medals. When the last finisher crossed, they snapped a picture of first to cross and last to cross under the finish line together.

Official Results

Total Time: 10:49:27
Overall Place: 297/2542 (2097 finishers)
Gender Place:  
Age Group Place: 18//94 (83 finishers)
Swim Rank: 18/337/292
Swim Time: 1:05:17
T1 Time: 5:39
Bike Rank: 11/158/150
Bike Time: 5:24:29
Bike Pace: 33.32 km/hr (20.7mph)
T2 Time: 2:43
Run Rank: 18/297/275
Run Time: 4:11:19
Run Pace: 5:57/km (9:36/mile)

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/08/31/race-report-ironman-mont-tremblant-run


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  1. Tami

    I volunteered at the race (swim exit) my friend finished his first IM and it was one of the best weekends in a long time. Congrats on your finish

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Thanks for volunteering! We couldn’t have done it without all the great volunteers out there. I have volunteered before (IMWI and a local non-Ironman 140.6) and had nearly as much fun as I do racing. Any chance you saw the angry woman who cussed at me as we exited??? haha

  2. Erika

    Congratulations on an amazing race!! I enjoyed reading every one of your recaps and really feeling like I was there that day by your descriptions! Also your advice and tips are super helpful as I prepare for Ironman Arizona! So thank you for that. Way to go!!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)


      Good luck at Ironman AZ!!! Make sure to follow Jason @ CookTrainEatRace (www.cooktraineatrace.com). He is training for IMAZ as well after doing IMTX in May.

  3. Jaclyn

    Loved reading all of the race reports. You did a great job of describing all of the emotions, highlights, lowlights, and everything in between. Congrats on a PR!!
    Jaclyn recently posted..CrossFit at Home

  4. Beth

    I really enjoy all of your race reports (reading and the pictures). Great job on pushing through on the run and what an excellent finish!! Congratulations on a job well done!

  5. Viper

    Congrats on being all Irony … Ironic? Great job. Cheers!
    Viper recently posted..Flashback Friday: Racing Me

  6. Morgan

    You know, even though I already knew you kicked ass I still had butterflies in my stomach for you. Good job out there buddy, you are seriously bad ass!

    P.S. Drink a coke already would ya?!?!? 😉
    Morgan recently posted..3 Things Thursday

  7. Beth

    You’re welcome 🙂

    Congrats on a friggin FANTASTIC race!!! I loved watching you celebrate your entire way down the finisher’s chute!
    Beth recently posted..Three Things Friday

  8. Matt Smith

    Incredible! Man, you got me all choked up again as I watched that finish video and saw that picture of you bonking. What impresses me is not that you are a two-time Ironman. I’m impressed that you can push through that bonk and finish strong. Great job, buddy! You’re the man! Oh, and Jennie is pretty amazing too for all the cheering and picture taking. What a perfect couple!
    Matt Smith recently posted..I’m Back!!!

  9. Tim Corson

    Great recaps! Congrats again on an amazing race and a killer PR! Aren’t you glad you weren’t pm the course for the downpour!
    Tim Corson recently posted..The Ability Tour Ride for Awareness

  10. Jeff

    Did you notice every time we all passed each other less and less enthusiasm was put forth.

    Time #1 one we were all yelling and screaming and tossing hi fives like idiots. Every time after that it became worse. By the last time Jon and I passed each other we both let out a barely audible grunt and wiffed at a hi (mid?) five attempt.

    Awesome race brother, very proud of you!

    Also, well done on getting the RR done. Due to recent events it looks like I will have some free time the next three days to mine done.
    Jeff recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant Nutrition and Predicted Times

  11. peter takeda

    great job

    killer time.

    i was still on the trail when it really poured but the chicken broth was incredible. i don’t think i’ve tasted anything better during a race
    peter takeda recently posted..IMMT – After Thoughts

  12. TriMOEngr (Christina)

    Just awesome. Can’t believe someone can run that fast and call it a “bonk”. Way to power through.
    TriMOEngr (Christina) recently posted..Slowly Getting in the Groove

  13. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Dude I just got goosebumps reading this. I am so excited for you and your unreal time. That is just flat out amazing.

    The coolest part, which is kind of weird, for me is the laptop shot right by the window to watch the finish line. How perfect is that.

    Second was the rainbow. Seriously that is magical.

    Look at all those people at the finish line. There are thousands there and going nuts. That is just crazy awesome and nothing that any other organization can do can match that.

    IMTX 2013…..10:00
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..It’s Not Just Pasta…..

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Flat course != faster time (now that you know what != means 😉 ). haha.

      I could probably shave off some time there if I didn’t melt into a puddle first. Besides, I already crossed Texas off my my 50 states list. Although I could be persuaded with a trip to the burger joint…

      Excited to see your improvements at IMAZ this fall!

  14. lindsay

    this makes me want to run! congrats once again kevin and next time let yourself have the dang coke and chicken broth. the rainbow is pretty sweet, as is your bonk face. now don’t forget to treat jennie to something for making all that ice for you! 😉
    lindsay recently posted..this ish is bananas

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      She has already been treated (and not simply with the joy of being married to me). She found a very nice jacket at the Lole store in the resort. 🙂

  15. amy

    Congratulations! That’s an astounding PR!

    I kept an eye out for you, but it’s hard enough to find people you KNOW out there, much less complete strangers you’ve only seen in blog pictures.

    And as a random note, I noticed that your run was 8 seconds faster than mine (how’s that for coincidence? too bad your total kicked mine’s ass so thoroughly.. 🙂 ) but your AG rank is 18 to my 27. I guess there’s lots more W35-39 than M25-29! Darn young’uns. Get offa my lawn.
    amy recently posted..Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2012 race report.

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I age up next year if it makes you feel any better 😉 Not looking forward to it.

  16. katie

    Wow – what a well-executed run! Congrats on a monster PR and just really stellar day!
    katie recently posted..august: the wild ride evens out

  17. Jon

    Thank GOD you were ahead of me the entire time. I would use you as a benchmark and a game for when I would see you. Looks like you did the same.

    Sucks about the nutrition. I was shocked when I saw you that last time when it was ME who had to call out to you. On the bike and on the run you were always the first to see me. Glad your stomach got back to normal soon after that and you blazed on to a super duper fast finish!
    Jon recently posted..Ironman Mont Tremblant: The Bike

  18. DR

    that rainbow…

    Excellent Ironman!!! congrats
    awesome reports and photos
    you have improved a ton even in just the last 18 months
    great work! and what an experience

  19. Colleen

    It was so fun to track you throughout the day, especially when you were crushing it! Great job gutting through that run. The run of an Ironman is never pretty, but you did one hell of a job.

    Tom’s loving his Hoka’s and going to run IMAZ in them. He’ll be happy to know you ran your IM in them too! 🙂

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