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

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