Iron men (from left) Alan White, Sheldon Morris, Victor Wright, and Sean Ward proudly wear their Mont Tremblant Ironman t-shirts and medals they received after completing the event on August 20, under hot, windy conditions. Most people who complete an Ironman event get a tattoo of the red M in the Ironman logo, and these four say they will probably do the same. The four men spent hundreds of hours training together over the past year in preparation for the 2017 Mont Tremblant Ironman.
©Dave Mathieson - Amherst News
AMHERST – It’s easy to understand why the finish line would look so satisfying after swimming, biking and running a total of 226.31 kilometres.
“The most overwhelming and awesome part is when you’re coming into the village,” said Amherst’s Sean Ward, “As you come down to the finish line with the stone walls, the hotels and the shops, the street is lined with people going insane.”
I usually get those thought’s ‘I want to quit, where’s the cab, where’s McDonald’s,’ but I didn’t get that at the Ironman.
Sheldon Morris, talking about how fast time went by at the Mont Tremblant Ironman
Ward, along with Fenwick’s Victor Wright, Springhill’s Sheldon Morris, and Alan White of Joggins are four local, first-time Ironman triathletes who crossed the finish line at the 2017 Mont Tremblant Ironman, recently held in Quebec.
“With the crowd cheering you on, you don’t feel any pain at all in that last few 100 metres towards the finish line,” said White,
Springhill’s Sheldon Morris doesn’t agree.
“I felt pain. I cramped up. I had to stop,” said Morris with a laugh.
“I stopped one hundred metres from the finish,” he added. “I was leaning there and I could see the finish line, but I knew I still had hours to finish.”
Morris finished the Mont Tremblant Ironman in 11:42:34, several hours before the 17-hour time limit. He blames his pride for the leg cramps.
“I saw this guy with 45 written on his calf and I said I have to beat him because he’s in my age group, so I passed him,” said Morris. “When I made the turn and started going downhill to the finish line the change in the terrain made my muscles cramp up.”
White finished the Ironman in 11:25:05; Ward in 12:20:50, and Wright in 13:06:38.
Ironman events are held throughout the world but one thing they all have in common is the distance. They start with a 3.86 kilometre swim, a 180.25 kilometre bike ride, and a marathon, which is 42.2 kilometres, for a total distance of 226.31 kilometres.
Ward, Wright, White and Morris are experienced distance athletes but this was the first time they had run the Ironman distance.
“We come from different backgrounds but each of us put in eight to 18 hours of training each week for the Ironman,” said Ward. “I’ve never had a day of exercise go by quicker than it did at the Ironman.”
“It did seem fast,” added Wright. “I looked at my watch and before I knew it it was two in the afternoon.”
Morris has run the Boston Marathon four times and said he often thinks about quitting when running a marathon.
“I usually get those thought’s ‘I want to quit, where’s the cab, where’s McDonald’s,’ but I didn’t get that at the Ironman,” said Morris. “Maybe because it was an unknown and I wanted to keep going.”
Athletes burn about 10,000 calories during the Ironman, and can lose a lot of water through sweating, especially at Mont Tremblant where the temperatures reached 30 C.
“I sweat a lot and I lost 25 pounds,” said White.
The Mont Tremblant course follows a looped course, so family was able to cheer them on during the Ironman, and White’s wife came out onto the course to give him a boost.
“She ran out from the finish line and met me at kilometre 35 and jogged back, so she ran 12 kilometres,” said White. “I was ready to walk to the end, and I had accepted that I would walk to the end, but she wouldn’t let me walk. It was a slow run but I ran the rest of the way.”
Families make many sacrifices for athletes dreaming of running the Ironman. For Ward and Wright it’s a bit too much. They have probably run their first and last Ironman.
“The event is hard but the hard part is all the training. It’s anywhere from eight to 18 hours a week of training,” said Wright. “I would like to run a better time but it’s very demanding of time.”
Money is also a factor.
“I’m working on growing family and the whole training, equipment, and race fee is expensive,” said Ward. “The race, without paying for hotel and traveling, is over $800.”
Ward has a sponsor.
“A-1 Court Reporting is the company that sponsored me. They paid for my registration.”
White also has a sponsor.
“Maritime Pressure Works paid for my weekend, my entree fee and hotel,” said White.
“I’m still looking for a sponsor,” said Morris.
Morris is looking to run his fifth Boston Marathon next year, and White is hoping to run his first.
Morris says he might do the Ironman again, and White says he’ll try it again for sure.
“I want to go beat my time, especially my swimming time,” said White. “I’m going to work on my swimming all winter.”
All four athletes thanked everybody for their support, including support from the Striders Running Club.
“Number one is our families for putting up with us during training,” said Ward. “They made many sacrifices so we could work out.”
Ironman Mont Tremblant Results
Alan White (Joggins)
44 out of 170, Male 35-39
284 out of 1,355 Male
337 out of 1,816 Overall
Sheldon Morris (Springhill)
58th out of 252, Male 45-49
387 out of 1,355, Male
454 out or 1,816, Overall
Sean Ward (Amherst)
83rd out of 145 in the Male 30-34
571 out of 1,355 male
672 out of 1,816 overall
Victor Wright (Fenwick)
173 out of 263, Male 40-44
797 out of 1,355, Male
973 out of 1,816, Overall