Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012

Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012 promises to be a stunning new venue and a welcome member of the Ironman family.

It sure has been a long time coming, but with the announcement of Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012 finally there is a second sanctioned Ironman Triathlon in Canada.

It’s hard to believe that in a country this big that it took over 27 years to figure out that there plenty of demand for a second Ironman.

This is especially true when one considers that there are now 9 Ironman races in the Continental United States and one more in Hawaii with probably a few more U.S.-based races on the horizon over the next few years.


Ironman Coeur d’Alene
Ironman Arizona
Ironman Texas
Ironman St. George
Ironman Lake Placid
Ironman Louisville
Ironman New York
Ironman Wisconsin
Ironman Florida
Ironman Hawaii-World Championships
Although it was just under 2,900 who started Ironman Canada 2011, there were actually about 3,200 who entered.

It remains to be seen how this will effect the growth of Ironman Penticton. It has basically grown unabated now for a few decades to the point where the swim and even early kilometers of the bike course are getting very crowded.

Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2012


You simply have to draw the line somewhere or go to wave swim starts in Penticton and you just know that will never happen.

While taking part in the Ironman Expo in Penticton and doing signings for my Ironstruck books I talked with several athletes who had planned to take part in the Penticton Ironman in 2012, but instead signed up for Ironman Mont-Tremblant when it was announced. They were from Montreal so it was probably an easy decision.

Also, there were many Eastern Canadian triathletes who would take part in Ironman Lake Placid because it’s just simply too expensive or logistically difficult for many to make the trip from Ontario, Quebec, or the Maritime Provinces all the way to Penticton.

It was far easier to enter Lake Placid and drive across the U.S. border. Actually there will now be three Ironman races within relatively easy driving distance for Eastern Canadians. Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman New York, and now Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012.

Something else I find very interesting is the timing of the two events. They will take place exactly one week apart in August 2012.

It’s a very smart plan because it just may take some of the pressure off of Ironman Canada.

Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012

The Lake at Mont-Tremblant

The fact that Ironman Mont-Tremblant sold out 2700 spots in just 10-days(and to athletes from 51 countries no less)proves that many triathletes have been waiting for a second race in Canada for a long time.

I would love to take Ironstruck to Ironman Mont-Tremlant and be part of the expo in 2012 but it is a 8,028 km. round-trip from Calgary to Quebec City and then most likely another 60 kms to Mont-Tremblant.

I have never taken Ironstruck East of Calgary and it`s about time.

But as I am dealing with 5 different books it means flying with hundreds of pounds of books and all the other necessary expo gear so the only real option is to drive. I estimate that it would mean 4 days of driving one way.


There are two things that I wondered right away as soon as I heard about this race. Where is the swim? Most likely the water will be Mountain run-off and does that mean a cold-water swim?

Also, being a ski resort one would expect that the area would be hilly and this may end up being a very challenging bike course.

There’s not a thing wrong with a challenging bike course but as it’s a resort the roads are likely well used and what sort of condition are they in for the 8 million dollars(or more) worth of fragile triathlon bikes that will descend on Mont-Tremblant next Summer?

You might fool triathletes once, but you will not fool them twice. Take Ironman Calgary for instance. I live in Calgary and was very excited when we had the inaugural Ironman Calgary 70.3 a few years back.

I thought at the time that this would be a showcase race….a destination race because we are so close to Banff, Canmore, Lake Louise and the stunning Rocky Mountains.

That’s exactly how it started out in the inaugural event. People were anxious to be a part of this new Ironman 70.3.

The problem is, the water in Ghost Lake is mountain run-off and usually pretty cold and the race starts before 7 a.m. in the morning and has two different transition areas 90 kms apart.

This may account for the entry numbers dropping off substantially and who knows if there will even be an Ironman Calgary after the current contract runs out?

Personally I believe it can still be a great race. If only they could move the swim to a warmer body of water(Glenmore Reservoir perhaps)start the race at 7 a.m. and have just one transition area.

The success and longevity of any Ironman race seems to depend on two main things. You need triathletes to love the race so much they return year after year and you need those same triathletes to tell other triathletes just how great the race is.

If a triathlete has a negative experience he will not return and is not likely to suggest to others that they enter the race. On the contrary he could actually tell them to avoid it all together.

This in a nutshell explains why Ironman Canada is so successful. Triathletes return year after year and tell other triathletes they just have to enter Ironman Canada. I was entered in Ironman Canada ten times myself over the years.

It is an amazing event that has showcased triathletes from all over the world for almost 3 decades.

It really looks like the Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012 organizers have this figured out. As Race Director Dominique Piche`said in his own word about the venue….

“Everything is close by, and you’ll be able to look around 360 degrees and see the finish, the Ironman village, the transition zone, the bike in-bike out … all the elements so central to the Ironman racing experience.”

Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2012

Mont-Temblant in the Fall

The swim will take place in Lake Tremblant but I have not yet found a chart on the average water temperatures for August and I will add them in as soon as I find out. There is pretty much little doubt that it will be a wetsuit swim.

It appears that it will be a one-loop swim. As expected the bike course will take the triathletes through forest and mountain terrain.

It will be a two-loop bike course in Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012.

At the recent Ironman Canada I talked with triathletes from Montreal who know the Mont-Tremblant area well and confirm that it will be a challenging bike course and that the roads need work.

Race organizers are already on top of that and the Quebec government is going to re-pave the majority of the bike course in time for the inaugural event in 2012.

As Dominique states……..

“That’s going to give us wider roads and bike paths on each side so when the athletes come to train and acclimate they are going to have that bike path to secure them.”

Better yet, the bike course will also be completely closed to 95 percent of traffic and they are closing highway 117 northbound, which will give participants 40 km of complete highway access.

The Canadian government is also paving other highway portions at the far end of where the course stops. “The beauty is, there are so many possibilities,” said Piché. “So we will wait to hear what our participants say and will make it the best course for what they want for Tremblant afterwards.”

The two-loop 26.2 run course goes through the old village of Mont Tremblant, adding a European feel to the course. Athletes are also scheduled to run on the Le P’tit Train Du Nord, a former railway bed that is now the longest linear park in Canada.

I did my first Ironman way back in Kona in 1984 and have been involved with this amazing event in way or another for over 27 years and often I get a feel for all things Ironman.

I’m happy to say that I finally got my tattoo while in Penticton for Ironman Canada 2011.

The vibes I get from Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012 is that this might well become one of the finest Ironman venues in the world if they are true to their word and prepare the course as promised.

The organizers obviously have the passion which is the main ingredient for success in just about any endeavor in this world.

So now I just have to find a way to get to Mont Tremblant and make Ironstruck part of their inaugural expo. The cost and the effort just to get there will be prohibitive and then there is the cost of an expo booth and a place to stay when I get there on top of that.

A lot can happen in a year and there is always a way to make things happen.

Best of luck to all those who are involved with the creation of the inaugural Ironman Mont Tremblant 2012. It will be an exciting time when August 19, 2012 roles around and this stunningly beautiful corner of Quebec will be front and center in the world of Ironman.

Visit for a list of upcoming Ironman races.


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