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Help an IM Canada newbie
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Have entered this recently. Looks amazing part of the world. Will be flying in from U.K. So lots to arrange!
Any local advice appreciated- need a car once you get there?
Best accommodation recommendations?
Pro and AG times don't look blazing fast. Esp run times. Course very hard, or simply challenging?
Thanks very much
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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Tons of info on here about the course - do a search (look for IMC as well as IM Canada). Properly spectacular though.

The short version answers to your questions:

- you don't need a car once you get to Whistler. Hire one way with Avis (the only rental agency with a presence in the village). Earlier this year the cheapest deals I saw were as add-ons to flights through BA.com.

- accommodation: get a condo in the village. Somewhere on Northland Blvd (Sunpath, Lagoons, Northstar or Valhalla) or Glacier's Creek, or one of the buildings on Main Street. Super central. Look at VBRO and Alluradirect.

- the swim is really nice. Two loops in a lake. Very, very unusual for it to be windy there at 7am, so the water is usually still. The bike course is hilly, with a big climb back to the village (Whistler sits at the top of a pass so whichever way you leave the village is downhill). Well worth getting there with enough time to ride out to Pemberton and back to get a feel for what the final section of the bike will be like.

- Weather can be variable. From super hot to freezing to just right. "Usual" for the end of July is warm to hot. If so you'll get a wind that starts to pickup from around 11am that blows from Squamish through Whistler to Pemberton. So a headwind for the last part of the bike leg.

- the run is a nice two loop course on a mix of pavements and gravel (with a short section on a wooden boardwalk). There are parts that are undulating (around Lost Lake, if you have a course map) which whilst not hilly can disrupt finding a rhythm. Course overall is challenging rather than very hard I think would be most people's view.

Did the full in 2013 (conditions were just right) and DNF'd the 70.3 last year (proper hot, but not the reason for the DNF). It's a nice place to race - lots to do in the village and on the mountain other than race/watch the race.
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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How are you getting to Whistler from the Airport? Bus? It's 133 km from the airport, search : whistler to yvr transfers ( yvr is the city code for Vancouver, all Canadian airports have y in their code some of which make no sense like yyz for Toronto )

There are lots of condos you can rent or lots of hotels to pick from. I added a link to the condo we used. Close to the finish line, grocery store, expo.


http://whistlersuperior.com


Run is 2 loops, lots of small hills, some gravel trails. Not crazy but after a hard bike not going to be fast for most. Be prepared for any weather it's been all over the place. The village is about 2000 feet above sea level, hence the highway out there is known as the Sea to Sky Highway.

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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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They've covered most of it (I didn't ride to pemberton and save it for race day , 2013 also and yes perfect weather , I saved that surprise for race day!). Steepest pet of the course is actually a short curve on the big downhill to pemberton. I was glad to have 28 in the rear for that alone

If you do end up renting a car to get to whistler, you won't need it much in the village. Park at one of the central lots , you can (or could) park long term for way cheaper than hotel parking.

We did use the car the day after the race to go to Scandinave spa for a massage and a soak. Cool place

And since you're there (and if you have a car and time) take a little tour into the interior. We drove Duffy Pass over to Kumsheen for white water rafting Beautiful country back there. Also spent time in Uclulet on the west coast of Vancouver island. Lots of places to add on after the race
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [ChrisM] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks all so far. Family will not join me this year. Maybe next!
So the bus makes more sense but worry about landing late then having stress of catching bus. Then carting a bike box through whistler. The race will be easy in comparison!

Really appreciate the race reports. Let's hope weather is kind!
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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If you don't have a power meter, get one. Last 30k of the bike are uphill. This is where most people crash and burn from starting too fast
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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bespoke wrote:
Thanks all so far. Family will not join me this year. Maybe next!
So the bus makes more sense but worry about landing late then having stress of catching bus. Then carting a bike box through whistler. The race will be easy in comparison!

Really appreciate the race reports. Let's hope weather is kind!

May be a total PITA, I'll leave it up to you if rent a car, North Vancouver was way cheaper (like half the price) from a rental at YVR. Does require a short train ride and ferry across the harbor (all part of the "adventure" LOL) I'd also consider staying overnight in Vancouver and going up early the next a.m. The drive is nice and you get to see a little of the bike course
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [Greg66] [ In reply to ]
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What's the road surface like?

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Any run that doesn't include pooping in someone's front yard is a win.
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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I did the race in 2014. And also had perfect weather. I can say enough about the venue, once your there, you can walk to everything, and even if you find a condo up the mountain there are free bus shuttles up and down. But walking down is pretty easy.

We got in Wednesday before the race. Even found a place to get a pre and post race massage.

The course is great, be sure to save something in the tank for the climb back up to whistler. Its a challenging ride but very scenic and fly's by.

The two loop run course also goes quick with lots of people to cheer you on and despite warm temps, a good chuck of the run is shaded so that helps with not getting over heated or burnt.

This was my first Ironman, I did IM Maryland in 2015 and I liked the Whistler course better.
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [CCF] [ In reply to ]
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I don't remember any major issues on the road. but there are a few tight turns that you need to drop speed for
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [friesen] [ In reply to ]
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also a lot of people put too much into the first big and veeeeerry long climb. I never thought that climb would end when you come south out of whistler but the decent is awesome
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [CCF] [ In reply to ]
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CCF wrote:
What's the road surface like?


Good. You're in the car lanes rather than the shoulder so the surface is clean. There is the odd stray area (the tight hairpin on the Whistler side of Suicide Hill coming back from Pemberton where you can get an area of gravel in the car lane, but that is a very isolated example).

From what I remember there are some areas from the Callaghan back to Whistler where the coning creates lanes that meander back and forth across the white lines on the road, and therefore across the embedded reflectors. Avoiding those little divots in the road requires a bit of concentration (as does working out where the coned lane goes vs where the white lines on the road go).

ETA: just remembered - the flatlands north of Pemberton are a bit bouncy in places. Sub-optimal surfacing, which can shake your head around a bit. I think some of it was resurfaced after 2013 but not sure how much.
Last edited by: Greg66: May 21, 17 3:44
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [Greg66] [ In reply to ]
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Thanks all so far
Am assuming if you have access to a Disc you ride it?
Climbs, nor strong winds, dont favour a 404/808 style depth?

I hope not -the only reason I ride the TT bike is to hear that disc noise !
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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I live in Vancouver so not a Whistler local but I know it well.

In reply:
- I would recommend renting a car. The sea to sky is absolutely stunning and worth driving. You also then have the flexibility to drive the course when you arrive. Find out from your accommodation how much parking is if this factors in your decision.
- Lots to choose from in terms of accommodation and would depend on whether you are getting a car. The expo / T2 is in the north village - there are plenty of VRBO and condos in that area. Blackcomb base is also very walkable. The village can be a tad noisy at times and not everyone cares that you are racing. I always find that staying in the condo area around Lorimer Road is a good combo of convenience but removed enough from the main village to get some rest.
- Drive the bike course and check out the run course by bike. Not sure what you think is "tough" so I recommend you checking it out before race day. The bike course is stunning. It is very fast out to Callaghan, up Callaghan is hillier but not brutal, fast down Callaghan. The ride back to the village is deceptively hard with a few rollers, then very fast down to Pemby again with a few rollers. The flats are, well, 50k of pan flat. Can be windy. Last 30k back from Penny to T2 is a bitch and will show how well you paced the first 150. Pavement is generally good with some new sections, but there are a few exceptions.
- Run course is rolling and can be exposed to heat. The last 30k of the bike does not set you up to run well unless you have paced it or specifically trained to run off a hard effort at the end. Run has some mixed surfaces - paved path for most of it, some gravel path near Lost Lake.
- Weather changes quickly and be prepared for anything in July. By anything, I mean smoking hot to snowing to windy. Don't trust the forecast. Bring it all with you.
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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More advices.

I agree, run is deceptively slow.

There are a lot of people to pass in the last 30 K of the bike.

Pace yourself accordingly, I bought a 12/32 for my standard crank and used that 32 a fair bit on the way back to T-2.

Fuel yourself well in the last 30 K of the bike, if I remember well, there were NOT many aid stations coming back from Pemberton. I screwed myself by not taking enough stuff.

http://www.fitspeek.com the Fraser Valley's fitness, wellness, and endurance sports podcast
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Re: Help an IM Canada newbie [bespoke] [ In reply to ]
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bespoke wrote:
Have entered this recently. Looks amazing part of the world. Will be flying in from U.K. So lots to arrange!
Any local advice appreciated- need a car once you get there?
Best accommodation recommendations?
Pro and AG times don't look blazing fast. Esp run times. Course very hard, or simply challenging?
Thanks very much

Was just wondering how the OP did at the race, and how everything went logistically getting to / from the event..
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