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Canada Man/Woman Preview: Welcome to Canada’s toughest Sprint

The racing at Canada's toughest triathlon weekend kicked off today with a very tough sprint.

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

It’s Canada’s toughest triathlon, so, of course, event organizers wouldn’t be happy unless they came up with a sprint event that lived up to the same billing. Welcome to the Canada Man/Woman Xtreme Triathlon, part of the Xtri World Tour. The full distance race features a 3.8 km swim in Lac Megantic that starts at 4:30 AM – yes, in the dark. Then there’s a 180 km bike with 2,500 m of elevation, much of that coming on steep climbs that have humbled many of Canada’s top cyclists at the numerous national championships that have taken place in the region. Then it all finishes with a 42 km run that finishes at the observatory at the top of Mont Megantic. The run offers 1,500 m of climbing, just to add to all the fun.

This year there’s a new addition to the weekend schedule – a new “Solo .5” race that features a 2 km swim, a 90 km bike and a 21 km run. Both the bike and the run course in the new “half-distance” race include 1,200 m of climbing and, like the full-distance race, the Solo .5 will also finish at the top of Mont Megantic.

The longer races take place on Sunday. Saturday is the day for the sprint race, which includes a 750 m swim, a 20 km bike along part of the course used for the longer race (read, there’s lots of hills), all followed by a 5 km run through single track trails. And, yes, there are a few good hills on the run course, too!

Triathlon Magazine editor Kevin Mackinnon is here in Lac Megantic this weekend and capture these photos from today’s sprint race:

Focussed just seconds before the start of the 750 m swim in Lac Megantic – no wetsuit needed here!
They’re off for the one loop swim.
All smiles as she heads to T1.
The welcoming site of the swim finish … and lots of folks on hand to cheer you in.
Former national team cyclist Geneviève Jeanson did the bike and the run as part of a relay team … her team took first. (Race organizers hope to convince her to do the swim next year.)
Carol Mingeault had to run in for the last part of the bike thanks to a flat tire, but still managed to finish third overall and win the 35-39 age group.
Mylène Poirier finishes the bike.
At least the bike ride finishes on a downhill …
Be careful … the trails for the run course are, well, let’s say they’re not easy.
Benoit Viau finished eighth overall and won the 60-64 age group.
Annabelle Fecteau was the women’s overall winner.
Océane Périnet finished third overall.
Happy to reach the finish line and get …
… one of these.