Three days after I DNF'd the Patriot Half triathlon, I received an email from the corporation that runs Ironman.
They have cancelled Ironman Mont-Tremblant for 2021.
The border with Canada is still closed and won't open until at the earliest July 26.
The town on Mont-Tremblant and the Ironman corporation are currently in negotiations to extend the contract that will keep the race going. It hasn't been finalized as of yet, so there is no option to defer to the 2022 race.
Instead racers were given the choice of transferring one of several different North American races, or getting a refund.
Is the BHAG dead?
There are 3 potential options for races for me (in my opinion). The closest is IM Lake Placid, IM Wisconsin and IM Maryland.
Lake Placid is a no go in my opinion, because it is a month away, and both my coach and I agree we don't think I would have the training needed to finish the race.
Wisconsin is on September 12. Located in Madison, it is a great course, and many people say its a good race. Even Mike Reilly, the Voice of Ironman, will be there announcing.
Maryland is September 18. It is only about 6 hours away from where we live (closer that Tremblant), and the course is flat and fast!
What to do?
A few months ago, I had decided that if it was cancelled, I would just get the refund. What has changed?
First, I DNF'd Patriot.
Second, when I received the email and told my husband, he said the unexpected..."You could do Wisconsin, right?"
What??? That was the last thing I expected to hear come out of his mouth.
I was torn. What do I do?
As I usually do, I talked to my husband, had a beer with my friends, called my mom and I slept on it.
The next morning I went for a bike ride before work. My training plan called for an easy hour spin. It was a beautiful morning to get out early and ride.
I saw a deer, a turkey, and I was informed by a couple of walkers, a bear had crossed the road just after I had passed by ( I did not see it, but I saw their reaction).
As I pedaled, I listed all the reasons I wanted to do an Ironman in the first place.
First, I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday with something crazy, epic and awesome! To complete the BHAG! Something I had thought about since the early 1980s.
Second, I selected Mont-Tremblant for multiple reasons, including the venue, the lodging situation, the location and difficulty of the race, the timing of the race, and the fact that Mike Reilly would be there.
Third, I wanted my family to be there to celebrate this milestone. The timing of the race in August meant the boys would not be in school, and we could make a little vacation of it.
Would any of the other race options fit into the reasons I laid out?
First of all, I'm now 51.
Second, the other locations, while they are nice, don't offer the same atmosphere as Tremblant. We'd have to find lodging, and all would be quite a drive away from the venue (our hotel in Tremblant was across the street from the finish line). Wisconsin and Maryland are in September, and only at Wisconsin would Mike Reilly be there. Difficulty wise, both would probably be easier than Tremblant.
Lastly, with the timing being in September, the likelihood that my family would be there with me (especially the boys), is in doubt. They would be back in school, and even though I could pull them out for a week, after the past year and a half in school, they need to be in school.
They both want to be in school.
And honestly…my heart isn’t in it.
To complete an Ironman, you must give 100%. You must work towards the goal, and believe that you can accomplish that goal. If you have any doubt at all, if you heart isn’t in it…then why bother.
I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday with my family by completing an Ironman—specifically Mont-Tremblant.
I spent the week thinking it through, looking at the races, making 100% sure of my decision.
After talking it over with my husband, I will select the refund option.
But I reserve the right to possibly attempt an IM in the future. Maybe a different location, maybe Tremblant if the contract with Ironman is renewed. My husband is on board with that.
What I do know is that I’m going to find another Half Ironman distance race before this summer is done, and maybe see if I can go visit my family and friends back in Michigan before school starts.
I am at peace with this decision, and my family is behind me 100%.
Yes, I am disappointed, but in my heart, I know this is the right decision.
And besides, there are other big birthdays out there…55 is just 4 years away. Maybe there is a new BHAG out there or a different IM to train for.
The BHAG isn’t dead…I haven't quit. It is just postponed for now, and maybe even altered to something bigger or different.
I think I'm going to look at mountain bikes...