Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches hit a milestone in his career recently with a strong performance at the Chattanooga Ironman that gave him a place on the podium for the first time in his Pro career.
The Ironman 70.3 race included a 1,9 km swim, a 90 km cycle (in this race it was 2 km longer) and a 21.1 km (half marathon) run. Part of the swim section was made even harder as it went against the current of a river. It was sufficiently tough for the organisers to revise it for the amateur athletes, who only completed half of it.
“My strength is swimming” Antoine told Great Vegan Athletes soon after “and I was able to create a good 1-2 minutes lead. I decided to go All In on the bike and push harder than I usually do. I managed to bike four minutes faster than everyone else and my lead after the bike was 6-7 minutes.”
At this point Antoine knew that he had a lot ahead of him, and world class triathletes behind him eager to close the gap.
“I felt really good early on the run and was running well. However after 1 lap (half the run) I started slowing down because I had no more energy. I was paying the price for my aggressive swim and bike and I also think I didn't fuel properly during the run.”
Antoine was passed by two runners in the last few kilometres leaving him with a mixture of emotions. It was an enormous achievement to hit the podium against such a strong international field, although at times it had appeared as if he would take higher positions.
“Obviously it's disappointing to loose, especially when you've been leading for most of the race but I'm still happy to have won and to have given everything I had.”
Antoine recounted how he spurred himself on with words from grime artists JME: “Vegan, no meat, no cheese, now I see clearer, don't believe me, ask Sarah”
“It's an extra motivation to know that I'm not only racing for myself but also for the animals. I want to show the World that I can perform at the highest level by following a plant based diet. I actually think it's a big advantage”. Next for Antoine is another 70.3, the Raleigh, Ottawa ITU Pan Am Cup and 70.3 Tremblant. Later this year he plans his first full Ironman: Ironman Tremblant.
Well done Antoine.