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My First IMC: Race Report

Ironman Canada 2012 (August 26) in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada was my first race at this distance. My goal heading into the event was completing in under 11 hours, I finished with time of 10 hours 31 minutes (1:07 skim, 5:21 bike, 3:56 run). The following is a raw recap of the experience leading up to and including my rookie appearance at IMC. There is some reflection of certain choices I’ve made which I hope will help others considering to one day complete an ironman.

Background Stats
Shawn Rempel: Name
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: Hometown
32: Age on race day
3: Years of Triathlon
3: Half iron distance races completed prior to IMC
2: Half iron distance races completed in 2012
5: Triathlons completed in 2012 (including IMC)
I have never been a elite athlete, nor do I specialize in a specific triathlon discipline or any other sport for that matter. I once read a paragraph from a triathlete which has always stuck with me, paraphrased he said: “I am just an ordinary guy with an ordinary physical disposition, training to accomplish something extraordinary.”

Slightly different from most who register for IMC a year in advance, I qualified placing second place in my age group, to local Okanagan pro Luke Way, at the half iron distance event in Oliver BC the first weekend of June 2012. This left me 2.5 months to get my training milage in for the increased distance.

Furthermore, I was registered for another half iron event at the start of July in Stony Plain, AB and the annual Frank Dunn triathlon in Prince Albert National Park, two weeks prior to IMC, leaving some important training choices to be made.

I met with my coach of the last two seasons, Brad Spokes from Zone Multisport / Physiotherapy in Saskatoon, SK. We formulated a plan where it was agreed that there wouldn’t be time for tapering prior to these other events to maintain a focus on IMC.

Enlisting a coach has been one of the best choices I have made. The commitment to training I found to be as much mentally draining as it is physically, especially when working full-time in an event planning role that requires non-traditional hours of work. Having a coach simply allowed me to focus on the training and made me mentally accountable to someone other than myself.

The training program he developed worked very well. Both the Great White North triathlon and Frank Dunn events yielded great results. The biggest and most astounding results wasn’t completing these events with personal bests, which I did, rather it was finishing these events without any post race soreness. However, I still had a big question mark around what to expect from IMC and how my body would continue to respond to the training.

In late July I was able to specifically prepare for IMC with a week of training in Penticton with Coach Spokes and my dad, Reg, both whom would be competing in the 2012 running of IMC. During this training camp I experienced the majority ride and run courses. This really helped me to mentally prepare and visualize which would be important in the few weeks remaining until race day.

The six days spent in the area in July, plus being in attendance as a spectator for three previous IMC events, helped me to focus on the event when I arrived in Penticton four days prior to the race. I had seen enough of Penticton and the race expo that I could keep my focus on the event / task at hand, preparing to race.

Beginning Friday morning I put my pre-race game plan into effect, keeping things simple with a meal plan that was planned prior to departing Saskatoon and while staying hydrated and maintaining a consistent and sleep schedule with 8-9 hours a night.
Breakfast: toast, granola cereal, juice, fruit
Lunch: soft tacos with chicken and brown rice, green salad
Supper: homemade spinach lasagna with beef, garlic toast
Breakfast: eggs, toast, milk, fruit
Lunch: left over lasagna, green salad
Supper: NY striploin steak, potatoes, green salad, garlic toast


Posted on 2012-09-18