Monday, July 28, 2014

Ironman Canada - destination

This is not my race report...but intel on the destination-  

Now in the 2nd year of the new Ironman Canada (which used to be in Penticton) and now in Whistler , I decied to go for it.  The inaugural year "looked" so amazing it seemed a great West Coast option. 

Whistler- stunning village in the mountains.  Very European with cobblestone streets and chalet s about.  Arriving in Whistler it was easy to see that the town had already embraced the race. Banners and signage were up for the race.  The Ironman feel was about. 

Getting here:  Flights to Vancouver are plentiful and reasonably priced. We flew Delta- leaving SD at 6:20 am and were in Vancouver by 11:30. With 4 of us in the group we found a 1 way car rental $145  much less expensive than the shuttle ($62pp)  Cars are on site in Vancouver and we were loaded up and ready to go by 2. With the 90 min drive the total travel time is long but as it would be to any other destination. 

Since we had a car, we made trip to the Whole Foods in Vancouver to shop for food for the week and grab lunch.  It is a beautiful, windy, drive to Whistler.  We had minimal traffic but I hear the later you arrive the more traffic to contend with.  
Westin 


Accommodations- we chose the Westin since we have been here before and I have a relationship with Starwood.  All rooms have a kitchen- we booked the 1 bedroom which makes it nice for those not racing an Ironman ( so John has a place to hang out when I am in bed at 8)  There is a Hilton next door  - also have kitchens and separate bedroom. There are numerous accommodations and reasonably priced  @ $190-220 up until race day.  No price gauging for Ironman.   You DON'T want to be in Creekside- 3 miles away.  The Upper Village offers some nice options as well.  Here in the Village you don't need a car, other than to get to the swim (pre race days) Race day there is a shuttle.  It is 2k from the village, so an ez ride or jog.   I don't recommend a car while you are here-  you have to pay for parking and there is no need to have one, with a grocery in the village and plenty to do + numerous restaurants.   Nestors Market is 2k from the Village and offers higher end, more oranics and nice range of food options.   Need your Juice Fix, check out Green Mustache.
Whistler Village


Ironman headquarters - registration, finish line is in the Olympic Village- a short walk from all Village locations.  The layout is a big grassy area for the expo, tents etc - spacious and easy to get around.   Expo is like any many US Expos- big IM branded tent and mix of IM sponsored booths and local products- nutrition etc.  A spacious and well staffed ART tent which is so appreciated.  They are well practiced and know how to treat an athletes body.

Bringing the family- many, many options. A great destination for your family to play while you rest.  Gondola, Zip Lining, ATV but Mtn Biking is the big sport here- dowhill.  More Mtn bikes than road bikes- really.

Food:  We ate (twice) at Carumba  - great pizza with standard, GF and WW crust.  Pasta was okay- but offered GF as well.  Special pre- race lasagne looked delicious. Affordable and appropriate for a large group.   Friday we at at Sushi Village and I highly recommend it. They open at 5:30 and there was a line out the door. Great sushi and some unique offerings as well. Breakfast we cooked in and lunch was on the go.  The Village is hopping at night with outdoor dining and music all bout.

Swim - nice lake 2k from the village, surrounded by snow capped mountains. Stunning.  64ish degreee.s  Thur and Friday it was cold and windy so be sure to bring sweats, beanie, sweatshirt etc... we were bundled up ( and I hear 2013 was the same) Low of 50 at night so again plan accordingly. Not a lot of parking so by Friday it was congested ( we had a friend with a car)

...more on Whistler the Ironman to come