I’m racing Ironman Canada in Whistler this season. Why? Why venture up into that barren, desolate wasteland? As you know, I live in Minnesota so I can pretty much see Canada out the window. I’ve been keeping an eye on those shifty Canucks for 26 years but I’ve never gone over to their side of the fence. We did end up building that border fence, right? Anyways, given my strong opinions about their country and people I reckon its time to see if everything I’ve said is true.
On a more serious note, there are a few legitimate reasons to race there. It is a hard bike course but not overly technical. Hard is good, technical is not so great, so hard and not technical is a good combo for me. It hopefully a relatively moderate climate. You don’t see me rushing down to a hot, humid race like Ironman Texas in May. It is in late July, so we’ll have had a few good months of outdoor riding. The timing lines it up with several other Ironmans the same weekend so the field should not be super crazy strong. Also it is a 75k prize purse which pays eight deep, some only pay six deep. A mid summer Ironman is tricky because I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to get back to racing afterwards. Hopefully three weeks later will be fine so I can race in August.
The main reason for Ironman Canada is because my friend Jorgen is doing it. Jorgen is sadly not a pro so he has to plan his Ironman races out a year in advance. Weird, right? Who is this Jorgen, why is his name so funny and why would I do something just because he is doing it? Jorgen is the best training partner I’ve ever had. We’re eerily well suited to run and ride together. Jorgen is a pusher – he’d always make me hurt early in runs since it took me longer to warm up. Thankfully I’m a closer so I’d turn the tables later in our runs. He always blasts downhills on the run, he just leans forward and goes flying off. I could usually make him pay going back uphill. It was a perfect symbiotic relationship. He’s a planner. He could look at maps and see where we should ride. He’s positive. Try riding five hours with a Negative Nancy and you’ll know why you need a positive person out there. Our runs together were some of the best training I’ve ever done because we were not afraid to push one another. The only downside is he is Norwegian and lives in Norway. So that is not convenient.
We met when we were just little sophomores at the University of Minnesota. We joined the cycling team the same year and were the only two triathletes. When I first met him I didn’t want to hang around too much because he was VERY difficult to understand. I got maybe 60% of what he tried to say in English. Thankfully he’s gotten better. Though in fairness my Norwegian is pretty limited. Takk for maten. That first year he was all excited to tell me about this triathlon he was doing back in Norway. He was doing a half ironman and then Norseman. Norseman is a iron distance where you climb a couple mountain passes on the bike and then the final nine miles of the run are straight up a mountain. That was his second triathlon. We actually hiked up the last 4k of that mountain when I visited him in 2011. It took 80 minutes to hike quickly – at 4k to go you’re off the road and onto a rocky path. Just think about that, you’re 38k into your Ironman marathon and it’s going to take over an hour to close out the last 4k!
Anyways Jorgen is coming over so I’m not going to miss an opportunity to race with him. It will be a great trip!