Sarah Lalonde, Project Engineer with Magna Closures, is on a different kind of athletic journey. This seasoned, competitive athlete is an Ironman.
An Ironman Triathlon is a long-distance event consisting of a three components: 4km swim, 180km bike ride and a 42km run (a marathon), raced in that order and without a break. It’s considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world. Each component has a time limit and any participant who manages to complete the triathlon within designated time (approx. 17 hours) becomes an Ironman.
Sarah works out twice per day; spinning, swimming, or running in the morning, and in the evening she runs, cycles, skis or spins, depending on the season. Weekends are for long rides and runs. “It’s a lifestyle so I don’t really think in terms of preparing,” she explains. “I’m just very active.”
Nutrition is very important to athletes of Sarah’s calibre. “I definitely eat healthy in general and go through periods during the season or close to race days where I’m paying particular attention to what I’m eating. Because I eat healthy, and based on my activity level, I spend more time trying to make sure that I’m getting enough calories to sustain me and so likely eat more carbs, healthy fats, and just food in general than expected.”
She does the majority of training solo but has a regular weekend running and riding group. “My father competes in triathlon and we still do a few races together every summer.”
The 34 year-old engineer did Ironman Lake Placid in 2011 and Ironman Mont Tremblant in 2013. “There are only 38 Ironman events globally each year,” Sarah explains, giving perspective on the elite event. “I’ve registered for Ironman Florida in November. It will be my first time competing in the ocean. I also have a distant dream of qualifying for the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.”
Sarah also enjoys squash, skiing, reading and she just completed her Masters of Engineering degree. How does she do it? What keeps her motivated?
“There’s no feeling like crossing the finish line, thousands of people in the crowd going crazy, including family, and the announcer yelling Sarah Lalonde – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”