On Sunday August 18, 2013 just over 2500 triathletes answered the starting gun for the Ironman Triathlon North American Championships in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec.
It's quite an honor to host an event of this stature especially considering the inaugural Ironman Mont-Tremblant WTC race just took place in the Summer of 2012.
However Mont-Tremblant has been host to a WTC 70.3 Ironman event for several years and earned a solid reputation as a venue that could put on a world class race.
Anytime you have a Championship Ironman race you can expect to see an excellent field of pros and Mont-Tremblant certainly had that.
For the pro men Romain Guillame was on hand to defend the title he won in 2012. However he was up against some formidable competition.
It was a cat-and-mouse game for most of the bike leg as four riders at the front of the pack were within sight of each other. Luke Bell, Paul Ambrose, Romain Guillaume, and Dominik Berger were all in the hunt.
It was Luke Bell taking the lead onto the run course thanks to a very fast transition time. Paul Ambrose and Romain Guillaume were his early pursuer's but began to struggle and were caught by faster runners.
Bell struggled with cramps early in the run but still maintained a lead of over four minutes on second place Bert Jammaer at the 27km mark.
Despite everything, Luke Bell held on and is wins Ironman Mont-Tremblant and is the North American Ironman Champion for 2013. His winning time is 08:26:06.
Mary Beth Ellis went into Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2013 as the favorite for the pro women.
Although many of the pros were racing for Kona Ranking Points for the 2013 Ironman World Championships in Kona in the Fall, Ellis was racing Mont-Tremblant for a tune-up for Kona as she already had enough points to guarantee herself a spot in the World Championships.
Ellis had a recent record-setting victory in Ironman France 2013 and won seven Ironman races in 2012.
Although challenged early on during the 112-mile bike course, Ellis took the lead at about the 120km mark and began to create a gap on the rest of the field and continued to increase her lead on the run course.
The race is still in progress and well into the marathon Mary Beth Ellis was holding a lead of over eight minutes on Anja Beranek who was in second place.
The increased amount of Kona Ranking Points for a North American Championship race was just part of the reason top pros made the journey to Mont-Tremblant.
There was also a prize purse of $125,000 available for the pros as well as 75 age-group qualifying spots to the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
Visit IronStruck.com for a look at how the race unfolded for and all the top pro and age-group results as they become available.