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Ironman World Championship Nice 2023: Part 5

45 Days to go (July 27)

Confirmation that we had a place to stay in Nice, France. (Credit: David Roher)

I registered for Ironman World Championships Nice and now I had to solve four pressing issues:

  1. Could I reach the top of the 13 mile climb on the bike course in time?

I had crunched the numbers and I was hoping the calculus worked.

  1. Could I find a place to stay with fewer than seven weeks to go?

I called the Ironman sponsored European travel agency that had helped me book the trip to the UK and they booked us into two rooms on the French Riviera.

  1. Could I get ready for an Ironman triathlon, with a 13 mile climb into the mountains, in 47 days?

The swimming would be the easiest, running the most difficult and I still had no idea how I was going to train to climb a 13-mile-long mountain.

  1. What was I going to do about Ironman Mont-Tremblant Canada? I was also scheduled for that race.

(Do both of them!)

No! Ironman Mont-Tremblant Canada was three weeks before Ironman World Championships Nice. I did not want to arrive in Nice, still exhausted from a previous Ironman … and I couldn’t afford to take three weeks off from hill training for those 13 miles that still haunted my dreams at night.

(Could you postpone Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant?)

I could defer.

(Deh-what?)

In the world of endurance sports there are companies…

(Like Ironman?)

Like Ironman, that will let you kick your race entry to the following year or transfer it to another race.

We were fewer than four weeks from Ironman Mont-Tremblant Canada. Our flight and hotel were charged and I didn’t think we could get a refund.

(So, what did you do about the race?)

An act of God intervened for me.

The wildfires in Canada, back in June had forced Ironman to cancel Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant.

(What is a 70.3?)

My new registration for Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3. (Credit: David Roher)

Half the distance of an Ironman

(So just call it Half Ironman Mont-Tremblant.)

Until 2005, this distance was actually called a Half Ironman, then Ironman corp. rebranded them as Ironman 70.3 I suspect because it was a way to say you did an Ironman event, even if you were not an Ironman.

(It sounds like that bothers you.)

Rabbi Tsvi Blanchard got me to let go of such things. I’ve never met anyone who said they were an Ironman because they finished an Ironman 70.3 race.

(Ok, fine. Why should we care?)

Because Ironman corp. rescheduled the 70.3 for the same day as the full Ironman in Mont-Tremblant. They were going to run both the full and half Ironman on the same day.

(Could you “step down” to the half and still be ready for Ironman World Championship Nice 3 weeks later?)

I was confident that I could.

(Great, good for you and your overly confident sense of self. How does one “step down” to a shorter race?)

You don’t.

(But you just said…)

I know what I said.

(I’m glad one of us does.)

I could register for Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant and defer my registration for the full.

(That’s great … how does one defer?)

First, I registered for 70.3 Mont-Tremblant.

(Probably a good move since the reverse could land you with no race, but hotel and airfare you have paid for.)

Exactly! Then I trolled through my emails for the original registration and located the “options” menu and chose from the list of Ironman races I could defer to.

(You chose Ironman Lake Placid, didn’t you?)

I did, but before I could start celebrating a new problem popped up; my hamstring was aching because it needed rest just as I was planning to start ramping up my training for Nice.

(Did the “drop down menu” appear in your head again?)

That it did. I could:

  1. Pass on Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant and just eat the loss of the flight and hotel reservation.
  2. Contact Ironman World Championships Nice and ask for a defer to two years from now.
  3. Keep training and see if my physical therapist could see me the next day.

(You call the physical therapist?)

I did. I just hoped that he could work a miracle for me.


David Roher is a USAT certified triathlon and marathon coach. He is a multi-Ironman finisher and veteran special education teacher. He is on Instagram @David Roher140.6. He can be reached at [email protected].

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