Talking about Winter triathlon… before the Summer season starts

By Lynda Gingras

Better late than never: a post about Winter triathlon just before the Summer triathlon starts… Why not?

As we are about to start this Summer triathlon season, I wanted like to talk a little bit about Winter triathlon, events that are gaining in popularity.

Have you ever done a winter triathlon? What was the formula? What were the 3 sports?

I realize that the format is not as definite as summer triathlon (swim, bike, run), which makes it nice. Some include skating, some don’t. Some include running AND snowshoeing, some include only one of the 2. Some include biking (road/broad/fat bike) some don’t…but none include swimming! Most of them include one kind of skiing.

As I am a runner, the formula that I prefer is definitely the one that includes running & snowshoeing. One really nice winter triathlon that I did this winter was the Devil’s challenge (Défi de la diable), in Mont-Tremblant area, at domaine St-Bernard.

First, we ran through/on the snow, sometimes on packed trails, sometimes on drifted snow, for a little portion, even on ski tracks. I feel bad about that, but hey! Sorry, that was the course. Then a quick transition to 8 km of skiing, in the forest, with ups and downs: perfect course! Then, to finish, going up a mountain for 4 km of snowshoeing: going up was slow but going down was insanely fast.

It was sure a nice triathlon! Great organization. It was their second year, but certainly not the last!

I have done a few other Winter Triathlons, but many of them as a team/relay. The Ottawa Winterlude Triathlon is great, with skating on the Rideau canal, then running alongside the Rideau canal, and finishing with skiing. I did this one as a team, and I was doing the second portion, the run. We won, even before the men’s team the first men’s team.

Another one that I did this winter was the Quebec city Pentathlon des neiges. That was great, a combination of five sports. Again, I was the designated runner, Snowshoe running… right in the Plaines d’Abraham!! 3 loops… the 3rd one was hard, with all these little hills…  At the Quebec city Pentathlon, the 5 sports goes as follows: biking, running, skiing (classic or skate, as you wish), speed skating, snowshoeing!  Spectacular!

What I like in the winter triathlon, is that I feel that even than with most summer triathlon, people do it as a team, everybody doing a different sport. Yes, I know this also happens in summer triathlon, but I find it less frequent. Anyway, for me! In the summer, I want to do 3 sports… In the winter, I’m happier to do one, and taste that awesome team spirit!

Have you ever tried a relay triathlon? How did you like it? I’ll tell you later about my experience!