It was a day of firsts for the St. Louis family at the S3 Winter World Cup: Yves (the dad) won the age group race overall in his first winter triathlon, while son Mathieu got to watch his dad’s impressive win on his first birthday.
St. Louis (Yves, that is, although give it 20 years and we’ll likely be talking about Mathieu) is no stranger to high performance multisport racing. Even though he’ll try to tell you that he was never a very good “summer” triathlete, he’s being pretty modest. Here’s how he tells it:
“I didn’t compete at a high level – some provincials and some nationals, but I’m not that good,” he says with a straight face, just minutes after winning the men’s age group race at the ITU S3 Winter World Cup in his Quebec City, where he’s from. “I’m just a multisport athlete. In triathlon you have to swim, bike and run, but during the winter, to do a variety of sports as base training is really good, which is why I’m not that bad at these kind of sports.”
The reality is a bit different. St. Louis’ version of “not that good” looks something like this: a 9:17 Ironman (Ironman Australia in 2001), where he also qualified for, and raced at, the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. It wasn’t as though he didn’t continue to have some impressive results, either – his resume includes a third place finish at the Esprit full distance in 2004 (9:23) along with overall wins at the Levis half-Ironman in 2006, the Valleyfield Sprint Triathlon in 2007.
“That was when I didn’t have a child and had lots of time to train,” he laughs.
And St. Louis wasn’t kidding about the event in Quebec being his first winter triathlon. While he had done lots of cross country skiing and snowshoeing to stay fit during the cold, snowy winters at home to prepare for his summer triathlon racing season, he’d never done all three sports in one event. His debut was impressive: he finished the race in 1:20:52, almost four minutes faster than the next man across the line. Last week he followed that performance up with a runner-up finish in the Ski-Athlon race.
As much as he’s enjoyed the winter of training – “This is a really nice place to train, especially with the refrigerated ice surface (at the Plains of Abraham), and it’s perfect that it’s downtown,” he’s planning on taking the summer off of racing in order to enjoy family time. A well deserved break, and a chance to enjoy more time with Mathieu and the rest of his family.