Alum qualifies for Ironman World Championships with Mont-Tremblant win

Alum qualifies for Ironman World Championships with Mont-Tremblant win


After a lifetime of training, Marymount University alumnus Collin Chartier won the Ironman Mont-Tremblant race in Quebec this August, allowing him to qualify for the Ironman World Championships. He completed the course — which entails swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running the length of a full marathon at 26.2 miles — in a time of eight hours, eight minutes and 40 seconds.

“All year, I had wanted to win an Ironman and I had a lot of setbacks and injuries,” Chartier said. “There were many years that went in before this, including the Marymount years. It felt great to win the Ironman Mont-Tremblant.”

From a young age, Chartier competed in many races. When he was deciding where to attend college, he was recruited to Marymount by Zane Castro, who was the head coach of the University’s Men’s and Women’s Triathlon programs. At the time, Marymount was among the first higher education institutions in the country to sponsor triathlon teams, making the decision easy for Chartier.

“I thought that being recruited to Marymount, specifically for triathlon, was such a special opportunity,” Chartier said. “Zane Castro was really pivotal for me coming to Marymount. He poured himself into that program and on the campus.”

During his four years at Marymount, Chartier demonstrated his athletic talents while competing in the Triathlon, Cross Country and Swimming programs. But he also excelled academically in Marymount’s Honors Program and by graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Health Sciences degree in 2017.

Dr. Michael Nordvall, Professor of Health and Human Performance at Marymount, served as a faculty mentor to Chartier. They worked closely together on Chartier’s honors thesis, in which they investigated changes in athletes’ blood and fat mass measurement levels before and after a competitive cross country running season to track any changes from a consistent cardiovascular workout regimen. During this process, Chartier was awarded a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges to fund his research.

“Collin was always very interested in his own physiology as an athlete, and we performed multiple tests on him over the years,” Dr. Nordvall said. “His VO2 max, which is a measure of aerobic capacity, was the highest I’ve ever recorded in the kinesiology lab. It was on par with Olympian triathletes and is one of the best predictors of success in these types of sports.”

Dr. Skye Donovan, Director of Marymount’s School of Health Sciences, fondly recalled Chartier’s dedication both on the field and in the classroom during his time at the University.

“He was always quick to thank his support team and was a true joy to have in the classroom and to watch in competition,” she said.

After his graduation from Marymount, Chartier moved to Colorado to start training full time as a professional triathlete. He says it’s been beneficial to be able to solely focus on his career with minimal outside distractions.

“When you’re a student, you’ve got so much going on between being a student, for me being an athlete and maintaining a social life as well,” he explained. “But it can kind of prevent you from doing one thing at the highest level. It’s great that in college you can do everything, but maybe you don’t need to do everything for your whole life.”

As Chartier continues to compete and move up the professional ranks as a triathlete, he further appreciates his time at Marymount and what makes the University such a special place.

“I realized that what’s so special about Marymount is the access to personally know all of your professors, and that they take the time and energy to invest in you and truly get to know you,” Chartier said. “And that’s something you don’t get at larger universities.”