Made of iron 

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With four Ironman races under his belt, Nicholas has picked up a few tips and tricks to help him through, but he says it’s impossible to swim, bike and run the perfect race.

Nicholas estimates that he has put in an average of 20 hours a week over six days, doing one or two of the activities each day. Although he’s getting a little tired of the road ride up to Pemberton after all these years, he still believes Whistler is a great place to train – partly because the winter months force you to take a break.

"It’s good to go cross-country skiing or snowboarding to break it up, because these things do take over your life a bit," he said.

After this year, Nicholas says he will probably take a break for a year.

Although he is good at motivating himself, Nicholas says the local Ironman and triathlon community has helped him a lot.

"This solo race has kind of turned into a people thing for me," he said. "Even if we train at different times, we run into each other around town, and that makes you think you should be out training too. And we put so much time in together. Even if the last thing you want to do is get off your couch, the phone will ring and the next thing you know you’re out the door.

"You ask yourself ‘why am I doing this?’, and then you look around. It’s a great motivation."

Paul and Christine Suter

Paul and Christine Suter each have three Ironman’s under their belts. Christine was the first to get into the sport, and after watching most of her race – he did slip out for a round of golf – Paul was inspired to take up the sport himself.

While Christine is usually extremely competitive in the race, she has to take it easier this year.

"For me, this year is so much different because I’ve had so many injuries. I’ve had lower back problems, knee surgery, a hamstring strain – all expectations are off this year. I can swim and I can bike, but on the run I’ll just have to see what happens," she said.

She is amazed by how much the community of triathletes and Ironman competitors has grown.

"When I first got into this, the only person doing Ironman was Murray Coates, who was a huge help for me. He has done this so many times, and he was great at answering the questions and motivating me. Now there’s a whole community, and everyone is incredibly solid. There are so many great athletes," she said.

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