Défi de L'Île de Montréal
128 km on inline skates
First of all, thanks to the whole team, the organisers and volunteers and also all the skaters. Here's our story of Défi 2001: Mylène Lafleur and me, Guy Boivin. To start with, our goal was just to have fun and do our best. We were nervous, not much sleep, but we were ready for that 6 am start. So off we went nice and easy (we were aiming for a modest 8:30 to 9:00). Everything went great, we were laughing, fooling around, teasing each other, talking with the other skaters. There were 3 very dynamic ladies working in a team, and we kept passing each other back and forth, over and over. It was such a beautiful day and we were lucky enough to join up with a woman who was going at about our speed, her husband following on a bike. At the half-way point we were at 3:35, and that's when we realised that we could make it under 8:00 for a gold medal. Everything was still going really well (Mylène had done the Défi before in 11:05, back in 1998), but around the 80th km the first signs of fatigue set in. Around the 90th km we stopped for a 15-minute break, set out again with more energy, then at around 105 kms felt tired again, and on it went till the end. Except that now our goal wasn't the same as at the start, now we were going for gold. Which we finally did, in 7:46, feeling really happy and proud. Next year we'll be even better prepared and our goal will be to get under 7:30... For Mylène to improve from 11:05 to 7:46, that's 3:21 less over the same distance...
Once again, congratulations to everybody and thanks to the organisers. We'll be back next year.