Danielle Mack powered her way through an exciting and tightly fought battle to take the win at Ironman Canada in Whistler, earning her second Ironman victory.
Whistler’s misty northwest weather factored into the race with torrential rain and cold temperatures ranging between 46-54F. Mack stated “Being from Colorado, I am used to riding in the rain. Before the race I was praying for tough conditions because I knew it would play to my favor. The colder and more miserable it became, the stronger I felt. I knew I was in charge of my mind-set and by viewing the situation as a positive, I would immensely benefit.”
After 2.4 miles of swimming in Alta Lake, Mack was the 8th woman out of the water into T1, to which Mack later commented “The swim segment remains a work in progress, for me”. On the challenging and hilly bike course Mack put down the second fastest female bike split of the day, 5:23:53, bringing herself within reach of the front of the field. “Out on the bike, it started to rain very hard and it was extremely cold. When you are racing in cold/wet conditions it sometimes can be more difficult to stay on top of your nutrition. I had an alarm beep every 15 minutes to remind me to drink and I used more EFS Liquid Shot then I am accustomed to, so that I was getting in the extra calories needed to counter my body’s shivering on the bike.”
Mack had whittled her deficit down to within 2 seconds of 2nd place leaving T2, with over 5 and a half minutes to make up on McQuaid. In the early miles of the run, McQuaid continued to build on her lead and at one point had over 6 minutes on Mack who remained calm in her game plan. “I was able to move into 2nd within the first mile and then my sights were focused on first. I knew I had to stick to my plan and run my pace and not get caught up with trying to catch her too quickly. Sticking to my nutrition plan was critical and allowed me to stay strong until the end.” With 8 miles to go, Mack was starting to close fast on McQuaid. “I put in a surge as I passed her with about 4km to go. I had been playing catch up virtually the entire race so my mind would not allow me to celebrate before I hit the finish line.”
“I was hungry for this race, I had worked extremely hard in training and I was prepared both mentally and physically to have an outstanding race. I just needed to just stay positive and stick to my plan, which I was able to execute perfectly that day!”
Mack won in a time of 9:46:19, followed shortly after by McQuaid in 9:48:23 and Annett in 3rd, 9:55:06. Elated and exhausted crossing the line as the champion, Mack was rushed to the medical tent where it was discovered her temperature was a mere 91.4 degrees F, which didn’t inhibit her smile, appreciation of the volunteers and race director, or elation over winning her second Ironman.