Quebec pro athlete Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches will be testing himself against some of the world’s greatest triathletes this weekend at the Mont-Tremblant Ironman competition.
Athletes from over 52 countries will be taking part in the grueling race that requires participants to swim 3.8 km and bike 180 km before running a marathon — or 42.2 km.
“It’s a pretty long day,” Jolicoeur Desroches admitted, but said he’s spent the last two months preparing for the event.
“Usually, I’ll maybe swim in the morning, then in the gym do some strength workout, then I’ll go either bike or run.”
Being a pro triathlete requires time and dedication.
“It’s like a full-time job,” Jolicoeur Desroches told Global News, adding that having sponsors makes things easier.
“It makes a big difference because you travel all around the world just to qualify for races like the world championships.”
It’s his first Ironman, but Jolicoeur Desroches said he isn’t daunted by the task at hand.
“Since it’s my first one, there’s a lot of unknown,” he said.
“But I feel like I can be up there with best one — like in the top five and even, if I have a great day, the podium can be a possibility.”
He said he sees himself as a dark horse in the race and is counting on the support of the home crowd.
He noted the beautiful scenery also helps get him through the rough parts, even though it can also be distracting.
“Sometimes you forget about the pain when you look at the beautiful scenery, but then you need to focus on the race,” he said.
While Jolicoeur Desroches became a vegan for primarily ethical and environment concerns, he said he’s noticed positive impacts on his health and credits his plant-based diet for giving him “an edge,” when it comes to training and competing.
“I feel like I can recover a lot faster because I have so much antioxidants in all the fruit and vegetables that I eat,” he said.
“So, when you train four times a day, it is good a diet that helps you recover faster.”
Start time for the race is 6:35 a.m. Sunday, with activities scheduled throughout the weekend.
For more information, consult the Ironman website.