When I race far from home I typically try to race at least twice - better chance I'll make money, have an adventure and I also just like to race - so in my mind more racing = more fun. This strategy usually leaves about a week between places where I need to set up a home base for training. Before deciding on my Mt. Tremblant 70.3 / Challenge St. Andrews combo I did my research. I asked everyone I knew if Mt. Tremblant would be a good place to spend a week post-race training. I was confident when I came to Mt. Tremblant that I would get some solid training in - but to be honest, I've been blown away by how amazing it has been. If you're looking for a great training destination - I would highly recommend Mt. Tremblant, and here is why...
Miles of roads that are well paved, have good shoulders and aren't packed with cars. Oh yes, and the scenery isn't half bad either! Definitely do a ride into the Mont Tremblant National Park. And bring bug spray, especially if you plan to stop riding at any point.
Trails - a lot of trails - hilly ones, and a very very long flat one that goes all the way to Montreal. They are all beautiful. On runs this past week I have seen many deer, some fox, chipmunks and several groundhogs (which I originally thought were beavers, but I may have been confused).
Beautiful lakes - many of them. I've swum in 3 so far. My favorite is Lac Mercier, which has a rock exactly 1k from shore. Mont-Tremblant is in the process of building a brand new swim complex that will be completed in August. I didn't mind not having a pool, as open water swimming is perfect for my training.
We had just finished trying to photograph ourselves jumping off a (1-foot-high) rock here. It didn't quite turn out to be the amazing photo we were looking for. But it was funny.
Recovery - Kiet and I treated ourselves mid-week to a massage at the Scandanave Spa - the hot and cold tubs would be enough to get me to go back. Add to that the Eucalyptus steam room, the Sauna and the ability to dip into the river or relax in a hammock or in Adirondack chairs by a fire and it was fabulous.
The exchange rate - if you're from the states, Canada's exchange rate is nice!
Great food. We made meals at home most days, but the few times we ate out it was awesome. We had crepes (seems wrong to me to visit French Canada and not have crepes!!) and I really loved Ristorante Ital Delli in the old village (on the run course).
The people - French Quebec people are very nice. One day we went to the lake and Kiet forgot his goggles. Not only did a local lady let him borrow hers, but she also gave us info about the lake and informed us that the rock was 1k from the shore. Later in Montreal, we got semi-lost on a run through Mont Royal park. When we asked a local for directions she offered to drive us home. We had many experiences of friendly, helpful locals.
No crowds - coming from California I suppose I'm used to beautiful mountain areas being crowded. If you go to Lake Tahoe in the summer, it's crowded. Mt. Tremblant is not crowded. I felt like we were in a relaxing, beautiful location all to ourselves all week long. This is especially nice when riding bikes.
All in all - we will definitely be back Mt. Tremblant!