Thursday, March 5, 2015

Our World Championship Experience=Unforgettable!

We made it!!  We were all exhausted and after leaving the airport and we had to take a really bumpy, sort of nauseating hour long bus ride from the airport to the Summit de Nieges.  It was well worth the travel.  The hotel, the village and the Iron man festivities were all amazing!
One of the restruants at Mont Tremblant.
This finish line I have dreamt about my whole life.  When I started running years ago I wanted to be a part of the Olympics. I didn't have to win, I just wanted to go.  I wanted to run across the finish line flanked by people all over the world and bow under the big blue banner.  This wasn't the Olympics but it was as close as I could get to officially be a part of an international experience on a level that included the best athletes in the world at the sport.  I did it!  I made it, I earned my spot and bragging rights on the world stage.  I was a little emotional taking the picture as I thought about all I had done, and would still need to do, to cross that line and I couldn't wait for the opportunity.
The official Iron man symbol.
View from the gondola that shuttled people from the top of the resort down to the Iron man village.
More views....
And more beautiful views from the gondola.
Our stop, the beautiful Sumit de Neiges. 
Mont Tremblant as seen from the balcony of our room.
The back of our hotel, the Sumit de Neiges.  Aren't the colors and the rockwork beautiful?  Most of the buildings were designed with these rich colors and natural stonework.
Let's make a wish.  Maybe they wished for me to swim like a fish, bike fast and safe and run strong!

Hanging with Gaga and Papa while I checked in for the race.  I was so happy that they wanted to come and see me compete.  It was extra speical to have them along for the trip and I know the kids loved spending time with them. 
Gaga has arrived in Canada!
Papa has arrived in Canada!
More of the beautiful scenery arond Mont Tremblant.
All checked in for the race and scouting out the merchandise.  I am blessed with an amazing husband that insisted we arrive on Thursday for early check in.  If you have ever raced in an triathlon before you can understand the process of checking in.  For those of you unfamiliar I will try and give you an idea of how it works.  Everyone is identified by thier race number.  At check in you must fill out perinent health information, emergency contacts and insurance information.  For this race I had to weigh in (something new) so in the event of an emergency they could adminsiter medications (yikes)!  Then you are ushered to another line where you get all your bike number tags, swim cap and race timing chip.  They take a quick picure and send you out the door.  Thankfully, this took me all of about 20 minutes.  On Friday, the rest of the race must have arrived.  The check in process took all day.  Folks were waiting in line for hours!

Lucas was begging for this Iron man bear for sure....which Gaga got for him!  He proudly carried it around all weekend.  I was able to pick up some really cool merchandise with my name on it.  I usually wait and look around for a few days before I decided on the perfect souveinir.  This event was not the case.  The stuff was flying off the shelf.  We were lucky to get the stuff we wanted in the right sizes on day one!  By day 2 most of the cool stuff was GONE.

Quick picture of the family infront of the Ironman village where some really cool vendors were marketing the latest and greatest tri-gear.  David and I later explored the area sans kids to check out the gear.  David loves, loves looking at all the gizmos and tri specific merchandise.

The finish line! 2 days away.....
Watching Gaga and Papa head up to the hotel on the gondola.
Wonderfully exciting, amazing day.  I was a bundle of nerves but having the kids and mom and dad around for the race was calming. 
Having some fun at the splash park outside the hotel.  It was warm in Mont Tremblant but I didn't think it was warm enough for water fun!  That just goes to show you that kids never get cold when playing in water.  I think the first couple of days were in the upper 70s and low 80s and on race day the temperatures were cooler, great for racing!

Yahoo! Let's go to Canada!

This year I qualified for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in Mont Tremblant, Canada!  I qualified last year but wasn't ready to go....this year I didn't want to pass up the opportunity to race with the world's best in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and have my family there to support me.  The next several blogs are going to be all about our world champion experience in Canada.  I hope I can put into words how memorial this trip was for me.
Good morning Greensboro!!  We got to the airport around 3:45 AM (yes, that is AM) for our first flight out, departing at 6:30.  Man, we were all excited to pumped up with nervous excited energy to keep us up those wee hours of the morning.  This was a learning experience for us all.  Since we were flying to Canada we all had to have passports to board our international flight.  AAA and all airports said we had to be there 3 hours prior to departure.  I can now say this is way WRONG!!  We were way too early to PTI and had to find ways to entertain three crazy kiddos at 4 AM!!  Thank goodness for small town kids and bigger city escalators.

Here was a quick shot of our gang in the car on the way to the airport at the crack of dawn. Actually, it was more like the middle of the night.   Lucas was the only one to fall back asleep for a few minutes on the drive to Greensboro.
Taking a break on the front porch waiting for the airport people to show up!  OMG, this was the longest morning ever.  The kids were great and with such a small airport they got to run all over the place. I think we must have spent an hour watching them go up and down the escalators chasing each other.
Finally on the plane and awaiting take off.  This little guys was a great passenger.  We had one lay over in NY and each flight was right at an hour long.  The hum of the plane and mommy's warm lap made for some great sleeping.  Lucas slept most the the plane ride to Canada.  Chloe and Hunter sat together and they did great as well.  They had fun playing the Ipad, reading, watching movies and chatting with each other.  We are so blessed with great kids!

Just a quick stop to act like the inexperienced travelers that we are.  This was another eye opening adventure for the kids.  When we boarded the plane in Greensboro there were maybe 25 people in the entire airport and less than that on our plane.  When we arrived in New York it was elbow to elbow full  of people and restaurants and stores.  It was like entering another planet.
Happy to be safely in New York and on our way to Canada!

Enjoying the skywalk to take us to our next terminal.  Fun times in New York.  Next stop Montreal!