Race Report written by John Villeneuve – HPP Athlete

Note from Coach Alan:

John came to us early in the year looking to accomplish his goal of completing an half Iron. He had been a former powerlifter but changed direction to endurance sport. John already had a solid base foundation for running –at his height and stride length he can walk faster than most can run! With limited time we had to develop run and bike workouts during the week that fit into his weekly bike commute and lunch time run. John was able to train for this event using essentially what were 30-40min blocks of time during the week and longer rides/runs on the weekend. John was the perfect example of an athlete on a limited schedule but still able to train for a gruelling event like Ironman. The key challenges were providing John with enough work during the week that his body was accustomed to longer and harder workouts on the weekend. It’s important for athletes in the 40+ age range to make sure they are not ‘weekend warrior’ training. John was able to successfully complete his goal and train safely and within his limitations. Ironman events require a significant commitment but it doesn’t necessarily require 20+ hour/week training. Anyone can do an Ironman with the right amount of quality structure and careful budgeting of work and recovery. We’re very proud of John’s accomplishment. He is now an Ironman. Congratulations, John. You crushed it! 

So here I am finding myself on the other side of my first Full Ironman. What a day!

Johnny V looks like he’s having a blast on the bike!

From the very first days of Bike and Run with Coach Ian when I asked what he thought of me doing Tremblant Ironman said simply, “yes, why not”… to his mornings of 550AM cycle classes in the dark followed by a run in the dark or the rain or both… Pushing me onto greater things to HPP and Coach Alan who struggled along with me as I missed rides, swims and runs. Alan still kept planning a course towards success despite my ridiculous schedules, who worked my bike the day before the race to ensure it was silk on the course and then stayed with me and the team from 5am until i crossed after 10PM, every time I saw him he smiled and it made me keep rolling or running. …over then to Phil the Run coach extraordinaire who told me repeatedly to follow my gut and do what felt right and, “use my arms” – that resonated with me for many miles.. many many miles. Over to Paul Beauregard for the talented hands and directed deep muscle massage sessions that put me back together when I was broken guiding me along from his Ironman experiences I learned little bits all along the way.

I listened, I absorbed it all…I learned.

To my ever growing support base, the ones who have been there since my first hello to the world… Mom, Elaine and Jan. to the friends at Running Room Bank and the great community we have there. A groundswell of support, encouragement, tears, successes and rebuilding. When I am out on the roads running or biking you are all with me..(no one swims..) My kids who if you’ve been out on a run, walk, ride or swim have heard all about and some have seen at races.. From oldest to youngest always in the forefront of my mind while teaching them that, “Everything is Possible” in the only way I know how – by example.

And then the one who started me on this path by delivering me to the doors of the running room years ago..almost like saying, “here – you take him.” Kelley has given up the ultimate sacrifice with giving me the time I needed to be out there, the support to push me back out (and under the water at times). The ridiculous early alarm clock rings and late night home arrivals. For her there is no thanks that can replace this time, no amount of money to turn back the clock, I simply offer my love to you. It has been a long road, you have been the steady spoke that kept me rolling morning, noon and night.

The excitement still sits with me as I strive to finish the season and then begin a recovery and rebuild process.

Peace and love to you all. We did it! Thank you!!!