Time to start recapping my Ironman Canada 70.3 race experience! I have to be honest about something. Ever since Ironman Canada moved from Penticton to Whistler I admit that I’ve been a little sour on Whistler. I loved Penticton…the community, the course, the history, that my parents lived so close to the race…and was sad to see the race leave. So many friends have raced Whistler though, and they all raved about it. When Ironman added a 70.3 event to the schedule my interest was definitely piqued, especially now that we live so close in Vancouver. 2017 was also the final year in Ironman’s contract with Whistler, and I wanted to race there in case the contract wasn’t renewed. (It has now been extended until 2020.)
Once I knew I’d be working in Vancouver over my summer break I signed up for the 70.3 right away on April 1st. I had lost all of my base fitness, hadn’t been in a pool for months and hadn’t ridden my bike since Ironman Boulder. My run pace was slow and plodding. It wasn’t going to be pretty, but this race would help me find my way back to swim/bike/run love.
I booked a tiny studio condo in Whistler Creekside via AirBnB. We drove up on Thursday evening, making a stop at Howe Sound Brewing in Squamish for dinner along the way. The condo was nice and clean, but in hindsight I’d rather stay in the village so we could walk everywhere instead of taking the bus. The kitchen had everything we needed to make toast for breakfast and to boil up some pasta for my pre-race dinner.
Friday was packed with athlete check in, the pro panel and athlete briefing. Check in went fairly smoothly and the volunteers were all amazing. The 70.3 racers got their race shirts at check in, along with a single strap messenger bag. By lunch time my stomach was growling and I stopped in to the Green Moustache for a Buddha Bowl and Turmeric Mylk. If you are looking for some delicious plant based eats in Whistler I’d definitely recommend checking the Green Moustache out!
Later on that evening I had a chance to meet up with several of my SOAS Racing teammates at the BrewHouse. We had a great crew of folks coming in for the race, some local to Vancouver, and some traveling from much farther. It was great to chat and get to know everyone!
The day before race day always winds up being such a busy one! We had to drop our bikes and swim-to-bike bags at T1 at Alta Lake, and drop our bike-to-run bags at T2 in Whistler Village. Our condo was a short 15 minute ride to T1 so I opted to pack up all of my gear and ride over there. I got to T1 just before 11 am (bike drop off started at 10 am) and the line up for bike drop off was already stretching out to the road. They only had three photographers on hand to take pictures of the bikes coming in, so that was backing everything up.
I spent a lot of time puttering about transition, figuring out what the route from the lake to change tent to my bike looked like. I also spent a lot of time catching up with friends who were in Whistler for the race, like Nola (my old teammate and Peat’s old vet)!
And my friend Andrea from SOAS Racing.
After all the bags were dropped I had lunch with Neil and my good friends from Calgary, Tara and Chris. The hardest part about leaving Calgary was leaving behind the wonderful friends I’d made there. I’ve missed them all so much. Tara and Chris came to Whistler to spectate and cheer, and it was so wonderful to see them.
The feeling of community and friendship within triathlon is one of the things that I love about this sport. Spending time among all of these amazing people was making my heart feel incredibly full. I was so grateful to be in Whistler.
Up next…the race report!