The setting for Ironman Muskoka Canada was a beautiful hilly region with many lake views.
The beauty was quickly replaced by the reality of the challenges that the course would hold with regards to the elevation. During the bike course, recon respect for the hilly nature of the ride was quickly replaced by concern for the road conditions with many potholes on fast downhill sections of the course. The odometer also revealed that this was actually a 59-mile bike course.
The race started with a calm lake swim which allowed many very quick times. After completing the swim in 33:11 it was time to set out into the hills and potholes of the bike course. The first miles were accentuated by very sharp and steep climbs. The ensuing descents had to be handled with caution as I came upon many athletes that had perhaps been too brave and ended up crashing as a result of the conditions. The few sections of smooth road were ridden as fast as could be but it was not enough to compensate for the allowances required for the road conditions and extra distance and I completed the bike portion in 3:55. The run course was mix of rolling terrain and took athletes through a long stretch of open road before a short loop in town.
The aid stations were well supplied but sparser than in any other Ironman event I have competed in. This was not much of a problem until the closing miles when the heat of the day was at its fullest and it was 2 miles between the final aid stations. This was a unique race with a feel not typical of Ironman events but served as a solid training day following a month of recovery from the Raleigh concussion. Finish time of 5:51 and top 15 in age group! Keep on Tri-ing! Holly Sloan