07 Sep Laurel Wassner Qualifies for Ironman World Championship After 2nd Place finish in Mont Tremblant

Racing an Ironman is always difficult – it’s a 140 mile race after all!  Add to that very rough water, strong winds and 8 hours of torrential rain and truly only the tough ones survive.  So, congratulations to everyone who finished Ironman Mont Tremblant.  I managed to finish 2nd just 6 minutes behind reigning champion Mary Beth Ellis.

When I look back on the race, I think of one thing:  I did not bonk!  I felt great (as good as riding downhill in pouring rain with no glasses on can feel…ouch!  Don’t do it!) all day.  Not a single stomach ache or cramp.  How did I manage to do that?  I stuck to the nutrition plan I have been practicing on all my training days.  And, I took into account the fact that the race was likely to be longer in duration than usual.  The swim took 10 minutes longer than usual, the transition run was 800m and the rain made the bike times slow.  So, what does that mean?  More fuel!  Even if you aren’t hungry.  I upped my calories and think that was the key to my day.

Thirty minutes before the start, I had my first XRCEL.  Then after the swim I ate an energy bar on the way to my bike.  Photographers always catch this moment!!  Throughout the bike I had 5 more XRCELs (which I had pre-poured into the water bottle between my aerobars).  Every 45 minutes or so took a large sip.  I also drank several bottles of sports drink along the way.  To my surprise, I actually got faster as the bike went on.  I was probably starting to warm up after the cold swim but also never had any energy dips.

Onto the run, I brought my XRCEL with a sport cap with me.  Smart Water sport tops fit on XRCEL bottles and are great for running and sipping.  I also had one in my special needs bag.  I just wish I had one more for those final miles.  There’s always something to learn for next time!  I made up about 7 minutes on Mary Beth, but couldn’t close the gap.  I ended up with the fastest run of the day, coming off my best average watts for an Ironman.  While I know I can run significantly faster, I am very pleased with how I ran considering the rainy and hard bike ride.

Oh, and with the 2nd place, I qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii!

I am grateful to XRCEL for their support of this journey.  I love to represent products that I believe in and that really work.  I hope if you’re reading this you’ll give it a try for your next event.

Laurel Wassner is a professional triathlete based in New York City. She is the first cancer survivor to win a professional triathlon and is a 2-time Ironman World Championships in Kona qualifier. Laurel is also a photographer the co-founder of the AthleteFood.com blog.

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