A young man who grew up in the Interlake made an impact on his own life by competing in the IRONMAN Mont-Tremblant triathlon in Quebec on Aug. 19.
Jordan Smith set off for the quaint, rustic village of Mont-Tremblant, to participate in this special event and returned with a result he was very pleased with. Smith earned his spot by fundraising for the not-for-profit side of the company that gives back to the racing community through Make-A-Wish Foundation and more. Smith was able to raise about $3,500 for the IronMan Foundation by selling raffle tickets, courting sponsors, and raised the funds by bringing his passion for the foundation to his friends, family and workplace.
“The big thing about Ironman is that it started about fourty years ago with some guys in Hawaii,” Smith explained to The Interlake Spectator on Aug. 30. “One guy was a marathon runner, one guy was a cyclist, one was a swimmer. Each one liked to say they were more fit than the other, so then one day one of them said, ‘Why don’t we just do all three back-to-back?’ And they did that, and it turned into a very big thing. It’s now a worldwide event.”
Athletes competing in an IronMan triathlon start with a 3.8-kilometre swim, a 180-kilometre bike ride in the middle, and a 42.2-kilometre marathon run at the end. The grand total of the race is 226 kilometres. Each leg of the race happens consecutively and it’s an all-day event.
Smith got involved in the triathlon after looking for something. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for, or how to find it until he did.
“I did a half-marathon about four years ago and I did a really good job of it. I was really proud of myself,” Smith said. “Two years after that I signed up for an IronMan half-triathlon which is exactly half of the distance of a full IronMan triathlon.”
This year was Smith’s first year competing in the full triathlon.
“It was a pretty crazy event, there were so many people and there was so much going on,” Smith explained. “It was such a long day. It ended up taking me 13 hours 37 minutes and 57 seconds, so, it’s non-stop-go-go-go.”
Smith started training for the event last November with regular small runs, regular bike trainer work and some light swimming.
“Slowly, as I kept going, I upped my mileage and I got up to riding from my front door-step in Winnipeg to my friend’s house in Gimli, about four weeks ago, and I still rode my bike home back that day,” Smith said.
Lac Tremblant is said to boast comfortably warm water-temperatures in August, according to the event’s description on Facebook.
The two-loop, 180 km bike course ran through Mont-Tremblant’s forests and low lying mountains, offering challenging elevations and highly spectator-friendly vantage points.
The two-loop, 42.2 km running course took full advantage of the famous Le P’tit Train du Nord, a former railway bed turned into the longest linear park in Canada, according to the event.
The final run is lined with a soft red carpet, and cheering spectators.
Sylvia Smith, Jordan’s mother, said she is very proud of her son.
“My son started his first job delivering Spectators 13 years ago. He is now 25,” she said. “He’s a huge inspiration.”
“This experience is not for the faint of heart. It’s not an easy undertaking. It requires a lot of passion. It requires a lot of preparation. It requires a lot of training. And it requires a lot of focus to get there, so I would encourage anybody to have goals (like this) and pursue them,” Jordan explained.
Jordan’s next big goal is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
“It’s is the most attainable of the seven summits,” Jordan explained.
The next IronMan Triathlon in Mont Tremblant is scheduled to take place on Aug. 18 next summer. The event starts at 6 a.m.
For more information, visit ironman.com.