Race Reports, Triathlon

Ironman Texas 2024 – Race Report

“Heat, humidity, and strong headwind. All the fun.”

I’ve always wanted to visit Texas and they happen to host a famous Ironman race, so why not do both in the same go? Let me first start by saying I pretty much did all the cycling training for this indoors from last November’s Florida Ironman to now. I did a handful of big outdoor runs. So while I knew I could do this, my outdoor and bike handling skills is still questionable.

The 5-month build from IMFL to IMTX went very well. I did all the workouts coach Miranda prescribed, never missed a beat, and didn’t get sick or injured. If anything, it was the fittest I’ve ever been!

It’s really fantastic to have a direct flight from Toronto to Houston. The race venue is in The Woodlands, which is about 30 minutes north of IAH airport. I stayed at the Westin Hotel, which was very expensive, but everything was in walking distance, so I really enjoyed it.

I flew out on Wednesday, did athlete checkin, and built up my bike. On Thursday, I did a test ride to make sure everything worked, and a shakeout run. I also got to do a demo of the Apple Vision Pro, which was unexpected and pretty surreal. On Friday I went to the only sanctioned practice swim in the lake. And race day was Saturday!

My plans went out the window for this race. But I’m still glad I got to do it. Being able to participate in the North American Championship was really great. This was by far the largest Ironman I’ve attended with over 2,700 athletes. Having two-time World Champion Patrick Lange and defending IMTX winner Kat Matthews really elevated the prestige of the event as well.

Total: 13:45:19

SportStats: https://sportstats.one/en-CA/results/130475/415

Swim 3.8km – 01:31:16 @ 2:21/100m

As this race is in Texas, there is always a 50/50 chance for a wetsuit legal or non-legal swim. This is pretty much the most talked about topic the entire week, and perhaps two weeks leading up to race day. Thankfully it was wetsuit legal this year. It was also really great to have the US Navy helicopter do a fly over before the canon! 

For the first time ever in a race, I never got the “Wait, this is dumb, why am I doing this again?” Question that usually goes through my mind in the first 100 meters. 

While the waters was murky and dark, I think I’ve done a decent job at working on my sighting. This was the most comfortable Ironman swim I’ve done. And while the three I’ve done have all been close pretty much the same time, I felt the most “in control”. Despite this good start, the IMTX swim was chaotic. People were going over and pulling and kicking each other. Halfway through, someone bashed into my right arm/shoulder area, and I thought it dislocated for a moment. I lost a lot of power with my right arm, but I was able to keep going and get through the swim. I must say, the the spectators in along the canal was really cool. 

Bike 180km – 06:53:09

Where do I start with this? The bike was truly next level tough. Despite having really nice weather the handful of days prior, all the athletes knew that a significant wind system was coming right on race day. Before I get into the weeds, I must preface that my coach did indeed tell me that this race wouldn’t have ideal training. I did complete all of the training that was prescribed without injury or illness. But being from Canada, the entire six month bike training was all done indoors. So my lack of outdoor rides and already poor bike handling skills really wasn’t good for this race. This I knew and accepted as is, I just really wanted to go to Texas and do this event. That kept the dream alive the entire day. 

The first 30km was actually really nice going through the local town, but when I hit the Hardy Toll road, the main part of the course, 2 laps, 20 miles back and forth, twice, I knew within 10 minutes that this was going to be a very long day. It felt like I was going into a wall. Pushing power and not really going anywhere. 

It was insanely hot and humid and there was a few times that I felt light headed. So I had to dowse myself with ice and take in a lot of salt tablets.

This was pretty dangerous day. I’ve never seen so many bike crashes, flats, mechanical issues, and people crying and puking on the side of the roads ever. Half the time I just recall hearing ambulance and mobile medic vans going up and down the course. 

Never seen so many bottles and garbage flying over the roads! This wasn’t because the volunteers weren’t doing a good job either. It’s because it was so darn windy. Some of the aid station tents looked like they were about to be blown away as well.

Had back pain around halfway, the lack of outdoor training probably contributed to this. In many ways I’m just really happy to survive and get through that unscathed!

Run  42.2km – 05:05:44

As usual, in every triathlon, I am most looking forward to getting to the run. My happy place among the three activities. While I was very glad to get off the bike without any incidents, I was absolutely toast after and immediately couldn’t hit my target pace. And while I knew my dream to sub-4 the run, and sub-12 overall wasn’t going to happen today, it was okay with it.

It was actually really neat to have a 3-loop course. Running along the canal, shorelines, and fancy houses was really neat. I never stopped, and slow-ran and walked the aid stations pouring more ice and water over me to keep the engine cool. The world famous Hippie Hollow lived up to the hype. The spectators really brought this run course to life.


I’d really like to try this course with no insane gusts one day as they market it as a “lightning fast PR course”. Yet I don’t really think many achieved that from what I heard at the awards ceremony. It’s okay, that’s the name of the game. Mother Nature is absolutely a factor is any race.

Did I question my life decisions? Yes, that always happens. However, for the first time ever in ANY race, the thought or concept of quitting didn’t go through my head ONCE from start to end. It wasn’t my best, and it wasn’t my worst performance, and that’s okay.

Overall, I truly and throughly enjoyed my stay in The Woodlands, Texas. Despite not getting an amazing personal best, it’s not always the result that matters. I completed all the training prescribed without injury or illness, which I am incredibly blessed and thankful for. I did my best with all that I had. It was a great decision to do something my heart really wanted to do. While Ironman number three for me is in the books, I will be back to race Texas again in the future for sure.

Thank you to my fiance Jenna, my parents, coach Miranda Tomenson, and all the volunteers for making this all happen!

Extra Mentions

In my previous two full distance Ironman races, I really tried to stay to myself and keep isolated, and not do anything social at the race venue. I never wanted to risk getting sick right before a big event.

However this time, I made it a goal to get the “full experience”. This involved attending the Welcome Banquet, the Pro Panel, Award Ceremonies, and while not an official event, since pro athlete Joe Skipper was racing, his infamous post-race “Beer Mile” (note: I didn’t drink, I just ran haha)

I am so very glad I made an effort to go to each one. I met so many new friends and learned so much.