On a beautiful mid-August weekend, four of our teammates headed north of the border for a 140.6-mile test of mind and body. This race takes place in the small village of Mont Tremblant in Quebec. It makes for a beautiful race venue, but is surrounded by mountains which make this anything but a flat course. No matter. Being from NH, we train on plenty of hills, and our racers were eager to get climbing.

An ideal race venue for Ironman.

For Ironman veterans Colin Cook and Nate thomas, the goal was to secure a Kona slot—no easy feat since this race is the North American Ironman Championship and features a very competitive field. From the canon, Colin raced like a man possessed and put down a blistering 9:25:11, earning him the top spot in his age group and his Kona slot.

Men’s 30-34 North American Champion!

For Nate, the race got off to great start with a strong swim. He continued with an impressive 5:06 bike split and powered into the run with a Kona slot is his sights. Twenty-six difficult miles later, he crossed the line at 9:56:11, an awesome time by anyone’s standards, but an agonizing 7 seconds away from the Kona slot he came for. Nate summed it up himself, “My race took a little over 35,000 seconds to complete, so to come down to such a small amount of time is pretty disappointing.” We know how it feels, Nate. (Well, kind of. Most of us will never even come within 7 minutes of Kona.)

Nate poses for the camera after his sub-10:00 finish.

For first-time Ironmen Frank Mulcahy and Tom Frost, the goal may have been a little closer than Hawaii, but that finish line sure felt an awfully long way off. Collectively, these two warriors proved that no journey worth taking should ever be easy by nearly missing the swim start, fending off countless elbows during the swim, fighting through searing nerve pain on the bike, and willing their bodies to persevere through cramps and all other manner of discomfort on the run. By the time all the sweat was shed, both Frank and Tom had earned the title of Ironman in 12:51:41 and 13:41:43 respectively.

Tom and Frank, welcome to the Ironman fraternity!

Congratulations all around!