Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant

Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant

Course_ProfileDrawing on Endurance Corner’s collective years of experience and access to an extended network of some of the most knowledgeable racers, we wanted to provide our best recommendations for approaching some of the biggest races around the world.

Travel and Accommodations
Mont-Tremblant is a ski village in the Province of Quebec and is about a two hour drive from the Montreal Airport. A lot of athletes attending the race live within driving distance of the event making the proximity to the Montreal airport a non-issue. If you do fly into town, you should expect some commuter traffic as you leave the city, particularly if done during rush hour. This is also something to consider when making your return trip to the airport.

Mont-Tremblant has numerous accommodation options throughout the village with plenty of hotel and condo options. The village is built around a very steep hill, but there is a free gondola that runs all day that can help save the legs if you are staying at the top of the hill. You might not think you “need” it, but I would advise otherwise on the days leading into the race.

Pre-Race Workouts
Pre-race workouts can be done very easily in and around town. The lake has permanently-placed buoys along the shoreline that can be used for safe sighting prior to race day. It is not uncommon for the lake to get fairly choppy in the afternoon, so it is advised that you plan some of your pre-race swims in the morning. Additionally, there is a new aquatic center that was completed in late 2015 if you are interested in using a pool pre-race.

The bike course is open and fairly safe to ride before the race. I personally prefer to ride the hilly out-and-back section (last part of the course) for my pre-race rides as the first part of the bike course is the main road in and out of town, so there is always going to be a decent amount of traffic.

Run workouts can be done anywhere and there are alternative run/bike paths outside of the race course if you want to go elsewhere.

The weather is this area is a major variable that you should be prepared for on race day. It could be cold and rainy, warm and humid, or just about perfect. There is always going to be a decent chance of rain, either during some of your pre-race training or during the race itself. It is best to be ready for a variety of conditions. Wind can also be a factor, particularly when out on the highway 117 portion of the bike course.

Race Morning
If you have to drive to the race venue in the morning, I would suggest arriving early as the parking lots get full quickly and some of them require a shuttle to transition. Additionally the swim start is a 10-15 minute walk from transition so plan that into your race morning preparations. It’s also a good idea to have some warm clothes in the morning. The temperature can be rather cool in the early hours of the day.

The race begins with a beach start so it is best to check out the start to see how far you need to run in before beginning to swim. From there, you will proceed onto a one loop course (with a different exit than entrance). The water is likely to be the mid 60s and will typically be very comfortable in wetsuits. Some chop can develop on the course if it is windy and there can also be some morning fog based on the water and air temperature differential. The clarity and cleanliness of the water is excellent.

The exit from the swim is followed by a very long run to transition (approximately 300 meters). I would suggest walking this section prior to race day so that it doesn’t come as a surprise to you during the race.

The bike course in this race features a nice mixture of terrain. The course starts by taking you out of town on a rolling road as you make your way out to the main highway. The race has one entire side of the highway closed to traffic so you will have a full lane in either direction as you ride on Route 117. This section of the course has some short climbs, but it is mostly classified as rolling since highway roads tend to have more gradual gradients. This course can have some variability with the wind conditions so check beforehand to see how they will play out. I have seen some days where the opening miles have a tailwind making the long return on Route 117 seem even longer.

As you make your way off 117, you will take the same road you started on back to town. From there, you will ride past transition and on to the final out and back of the course. This section features rolling terrain with a stair-stepping elevation gain to the turnaround. While it is not classified as a continuous climb, it does feel that way at times, particularly because of some very steep short hills. If you can only check out one section of the course pre-race, I would strongly suggest riding this part in order to have a good grasp of the gearing you will need. After the turnaround you will make your way back to transition. This section rides very fast and it can give you the opportunity to back off the power a bit before the run starts.

The run is one “loop” and is essentially an out and back with some slight variations in either direction. The course begins with hills, flattens in the middle and ends with hills. These opening and closing hills are key times where you can gain or lose time based on effort, whereas the middle section is a time where you can lose time because of focus (in my opinion). The opening and closing 5-6km has great spectator support and it can get easy to get carried away early on in the race, particularly with the hills placed so early. The middle section of the course takes you on a bike path that is quiet and features a long straightaway to the turnaround. It can be easy to lose focus and back off in this section. I believe if you can keep yourself on point through this section it will pay off significantly.

The closing kilometers are hilly, but the amazing crowd support will help you tune that out as you make your way to the finish line.

The village of Mont-Tremblant has plenty to do after the race so have fun and enjoy yourself. I have raced in many locations and this race is easily one of my favorites of all time. The community is in full support of the event and the production crew takes their job very seriously. Get fit, race hard and they will take care of the rest. Good Luck!

Justin Daerr raced the two loop, Ironman version, of this course in 2015, placing 2nd Overall.

About Author

Justin Daerr

Justin Daerr is a professional triathlete. You can follow him on Twitter @justindaerr.