Ironman Canada 2011 – Hours til the gun.

Tomorrow is the big day… Ironman Canada.

Penticton is a buzz with incredibly fit people.
It’s warm and sunny (80 degrees at 9pm last night).
Apparently, the founder of Ironman Canada chose Penticton, British Columbia because the heat was the closest way of mimicking the conditions of the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.

I’m a little nervous, but there nothing more I can do. Just relax and take the race one-step-at-a-time… Literally.

Last night we had a pre-race meeting to learn about the course, the aid stations, rules, etc.
There are approximately 3,000 participants, 1,100 of which are Ironman Virgins, like myself.

One of the most memorable tips that I learned was the following: (From the race organizer) (loosely paraphrased)…

‚ÄúYou will go through spouts of depression, pain, and anxiety. It’s natural.
You’ll question your training… your fitness.. your sanity.
One thing is for sure… there are thousands of volunteers, all out there for one purpose… to support you to finish.
When you get depressed, Thank a volunteer. It’s physiologically impossible to be depressed for long, if you are Grateful and Thankful.‚Äù

With that in mind, I want to thank all those how have supported me in the last year. Without all of your support, advice, and encouragement, I never would have been in a position to take on this challenge that has been smoldering around in my brain for that last 15 years.

Some of the memorable quotes from the dinner and meeting were:
From one of the Professional Males – “Everyone will suffer… you’re not alone.”
From Anne (the Australian woman sitting next to me at dinner…. she’s completed 22 Ironman races) – “Take the run step-by-step, minute-by-minute… but just keep moving forward.”
From another Ironman champion… “Take it step-by-step, light pole by light pole, and mile by mile.”
From another Pro – ‚ÄúWhen you feel like you’re in Hell, or going to Hell… just keep going.‚Äù

If you want a little more information about the race, here is a good overview:

To watch my progress (It’s not real time, though):

By bib number is: 1293

Here are some ideas about my progress:
Race start: 7am.
The 2.4 mile Swim will take between 75 to 90 minutes, so I’ll transition (Transition 1) between the swim and bike at approximately : 8:15am ‚Äì 8:30 am.
The 112 mile bike will take between 6 and 7 hours. There will be a couple of timing chip areas that will track my bike progress. I’ll Transition between Bike to Run (T2) somewhere between 2:15pm ‚Äì 3:30pm.
The marathon will take between 4 and ¬? hours to 6+ hours. (The pain is over quicker the faster I go… so I’ll run as far as I can.) That puts me at a finish between 6:15pm (not likely) to 9:30pm. My guess is probably between 8:30-9pm, or so.

My brother-in-law, Jerry, is here with me (Thanks Jerry). He can be reached via my Canada cell phone, if you want updates… (250) 701-9741.

Jonathan Duarte

IRONMAN: They really don’t know

A couple of days ago, after severely injuring my low back while training for Ironman Canada (coming up in 3 weeks), I was referred to Chiro-Medical, a top notch Athletes Chiropractor and Medical office in San Francisco. (which I highly recommend… my Chiropractor was Daniel Lord, D.C).

With my head in my hands, dealing with the lower back pain, I slowly looked up an saw the following painting and quote on the wall.

Here’s the text from the quote.
Real inspiration. Especially as the date of my first Ironman triathlon looms closer.

They don’t really know!

Everyone seems to know that an IRONMAN is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then a 26.2 mile run. 140.6 miles completed in 17 hours or less. But do they really know? It rolls off of their tongue as easily as discussing the local 5K that they ran or a hard, hot, and challenging ¬? marathon that they survived last summer. But do they really know?

It used to bother you when they said, “IRONMAN, oh yea, that’s really cool. My friend does those all the time. She does like 8 or 10 of them a year, but mostly just local ones though!”

That’s when you realize that They Don’t Know and it’s not important that they do know. It’s only important that you know. IRONMAN is personal, very personal. IRONMAN is everything for that day. There is nothing more important than crossing that line; and you will cross the line, no matter what. Quitting is not an option. IRONMAN defines you and in many cases it redefines you.

IRONMAN is your commitment, dedication, preparation, determination and perseverance to train for an event that in the beginning seems impossible to finish.

IRONMAN is pain, agony and the almost reckless passion of pushing yourself beyond the limits of what you are capable of.

IRONMAN shows you that boundaries are made to be broken. All of this to compete against your own best effort for that day.

At the end of that day, everyone at the finish line knows, and you know that for this day‚Ķ and forever‚Ķ YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”

- Cole Braun, Founder, RACC, and 8 time Ironman Finisher.

The poster and quote above are for sale, with proceeds benefiting Racers Against Childhood Cancers. To purchase a print, or support RACC, click here