No matter how many times I cross the finish line of an Ironman race, half or full distance, I break down in this intense release of joy, love, gratitude, pride, tears…. and I whisper to myself “I/WE did it”.

There is a “we”, as it takes a village to get you to the start line, and there is an “I”, as you are the only person taking yourself across the finish line.  Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant on June 23rd, was my 11th Ironman finish and no matter how many finish lines I have crossed, let me tell you, it never gets any easier.  On race day, it is a race of the mind and heart, on who is whiling to suffer the most, and who has more heart to never give up.

In truth doing an Ironman race is miserable.

The night before, you don’t sleep or eat well, as you are nervous as fuck.  The morning off, you are up at the crack of dawn, nauseous, tense, edgy and asking yourself “why the fuck am I doing this?”.  During the race, you are either freezing your ass off or getting sun burned or both.  You suffer for hours and sometimes your legs cramp up, your digestive system is livid, you get blisters in your feet, and you chaff in random body parts.  Post race you are restless as you are high with so much adrenaline and endorphins that you STILL can’t sleep or eat well.

I wouldn’t describe this as fun. 

Then why the fuck, have I done 11 of them and planning to train for many more?

For me, it’s a feeling.  I am addicted to this intense feeling these races create for me, a feeling of appreciation for my life and who I am.  Racing makes me feel alive, reborn, and proud of myself.  It’s a powerful feeling that keeps bringing me back no matter how much I suffer in each race. Ironman races leave me with this intense burning desire to be a better human as I have faced a humongous challenge and I tackled the shit out of it making myself proud.

I race to feel just me. 

In life we tend to settle.  Get comfortable.  Complacent.  We get numb.  There is so much more out there and racing allows me this opportunity to connect deeply with myself, explore the world, and remind myself to never ever settle in my life.  It reminds me that I am a fucking badass and anything is possible when you believe in your dream.

Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant you were good to me.  I would highly recommend you to my friends.  I would recommend you because you truly had one of the best venue experiences with the most generous volunteers, an epic swim start with fire works, an exhilarating finish shoot, and overall top world-class satisfaction!  Cozumel and South Africa are still my top favorites and you come right after my two beloved races!   

Next race:  Ironman World Championship 70.3 Nice, France.


Esther Collinetti