8/31/16

Behind the scenes - IMMT


Travel: 
-Traveling to and from Mont Tremblant was fairly easy for us. We flew from Greenville, SC into Montreal (Newark layover going, Dulles layover returning), rented an SUV and drove 130km (~1 hour and 40 minutes) to Mont Tremblant. There was a little traffic around Montreal but around 40 minutes into our drive, the scenery changed to trees and hills and it was a beautiful drive into the village of Mont Tremblant.

-It's very easy to rent a car at the airport as the rental car kiosk is right across the street, in the parking garage. I would strongly advise to rent a car from the airport and not off-site - it's just too easy to get the car right there, even if you save a few bucks off site.

-The customs process did not take long for us when we arrived, however returning home, the customs at the Montreal airport (to fly into the US) took us over two hours to get checked in, go through customs, go through security and then to arrive to our gate (and the airport is not that big).

-If you do not have a US passport, review the requirements for getting into Canada. Karel is a US permanent resident (not US Citizen) so he had to get an Electronic Travel Authorization (he paid for it before our trip). 

-We had a few athletes drive to Mont Tremblant from the East coast and they did not experience any issues.

-You can exchange your money (ex. USD) to Canadian dollars (with a service charge) at the airport as the kiosk is right by the baggage pick-up. You can also use your credit card but be sure to check if you are international to see if Canada accepts your credit card and to review the fees for international use.

-I started making our travel arrangements in October of 2015, specifically for a house that could accommodate our large group (13+). I reached out to Francois at Experience Tremblant (email: info@experiencetremblant.comand he was great to work with. Most of the houses are up on the hill, surrounding the village (it's only about 1-1.5 miles from the race venue but get your climbing legs ready) so if you want to make your race experience extremely simple, book a hotel at the village (there are plenty). There is no parking at the village and it can be tough to drop off athletes near the race venue but the shuttle service from the houses (our street had a shuttle service) on the hills and around the area runs often and they are very timely and easy to access. There is also off-site parking with a shuttle service.  

-Depending on your cell service, data rates may apply. We have Sprint and we were able to use our phone as normal except call were $0.20 a minute. We left calling to emergency situations as text worked just fine. 

-Everyone speaks French in the Québec region. Although many people speak English, you will find that depending on where you go, some people would prefer if you speak their language of French as they do not want to speak English to you. Many people switch back and forth from English to French. We found Mont Tremblant to be English-friendly but in route to Mont Tremblant, in Montreal, they would not speak English to us at the gas station.




Race Venue


 -Comparable to IM Lake Placid, the village is very cute and it's easy to get around. You really feel like you are in a story book with all the brightly colored buildings. There is only one transition which makes it easy on the day before the race to drop off all gear. If you plan to eat at restaurants and stay in a hotel at the race venue, you really don't need a car during your stay (try to carpool to get to the village if not renting a car).

-There are plenty of places to eat and shop and the town is also very kid-friendly and pet-friendly.

-There is a lot to do for your non-racing friends/family members and you'll find it easy to train on the race course on the days leading up to the race.

-Expect to walk if you want to get anywhere because it's hard to get around by car in/around the village. 

-The race venue is incredibly spectator friendly. Just be sure to review the race courses ahead of time as the logistics of getting to and from places are not easy due to the barricades and crosswalks on the streets and sidewalks. While this makes for a safe race for the athletes, it does make it hard to navigate your way around, easily, during the race.

-The town 100% welcomes the Ironman and supports the triathletes. Karel had so many congrats from the spectators after the race - they made him feel very special after the race, which is something that you DO want to see at an Ironman race venue.

-The race course is challenging. Expect that you can't expect what the weather will be like on race day. But the experience of the race venue is worth the challenge of racing in Mont Tremblant. 

Food: 

-There are plenty of places to eat at in the village. As to be expected, some restaurants do raise the prices on the menus on race week.
We ordered out pizza for our team dinner from Yaoooo.
We ate at Casey's grill Bar after the race (burgers, fries, beer, salads)
We ate at La Diable on the day after the race.
We didn't eat at the La Maison de la crêpe due to long waits but it looked amazing.
For great ice cream and pastries (croissants), we went to Oh La Vache!

-You will need to drive to the grocery store, which is about 15 minutes away (IGA grocery). There is an in-town grocery with a small selection of items. The food prices (Canadian dollar) are comparable to what I would pay (USD) in Hawaii (as a reference). Since we had a big house, we split the groceries among everyone in our house which helped to save a lot of money. Aside from ordering out pizza, Karel and I didn't eat out until after the race.


I put together a video from our trip at IM Mont Tremblant. It was a special trip for us, not only because Karel qualified for IM Kona but we were able to share it with so many of our athletes, who raced and cheered.
We absolutely love seeing our athletes in action and spending time with those who are closest to our athletes (family members, spouses, friends). This is why we offer Key Trimarni races to our coaching team, so that we can share race day experiences together, as a Trimarni family.