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The top five Olympic Triathlons in Canada

Looking to upgrade to the Olympic distance? Here are the top Olympic triathlons in Canada

You’ve done a try-a-tri, a few sprint distance races, now it’s time to upgrade to the Olympic distance. Your standard sprint race is a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5k run; all an Olympic triathlon is, is double that. It may require a bit more training, going a bit farther on your long rides and runs, mixing in more intervals, but it’s manageable, and you can do it. Picking a triathlon can be stressful, but there is a list of our top five in Canada. Our criteria for this was, 1) close to a major city (easy transportation), 2) a favourable course (terrain and features), 3) a lively race environment and 4) offers a challenge.

Polar TriMemphre – Middle of July

Come the middle of July, the town of Magog hosts TriMemphré. Last year, Polar Canada came on as the head sponsor and introduced a variety of races to the weekend schedule. The environment at this race is second to none, from its race organization to the scenery Polar TriMemphré is a must do for all abilities. The race weekend includes everything from youth races to the half triathlon distance. Those who opt to do the Olympic distance triathlon will not be disappointed. The swim takes place in the stunning Lake Memphremagog. While the bike is two loops of 20K, featuring a difficult climb up to Orford Ski Resort. The run takes place along the lake and within the town, before crossing the finish line in front of a crowd of spectators and volunteers.   

Crossing the line at the Polar TriMemphre race weekend. Polar Canada / Jim McDannald

Guelph Lake One Triathlon – End of June

Taking place at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area, the Guelph Lake One Olympic triathlon is ideal for those looking to upgrade from the sprint distance. The first of the Subaru Triathlon series, Guelph Lake One is one of the largest triathlon weekends in Ontario. The course offers some fast sections, as well as some variable terrain to keep the race interesting.

Riding Mountain – Beginning of August

The Riding Mountain event is the biggest triathlon in Manitoba and Saskatchewan combined, and yet it may be prairie triathletes’ best-kept secret. Taking place in Riding Mountain National Park the triathlon offers a variety of terrain features, despite the surrounding pancake-flat farmland. The 1500m swim takes place in the aptly named, Clear Lake. Then it is a 40K bike along the new and improved roads surrounding the park. The 10K run takes place around the lake and paths of the park.

Clear Lake. Courtesy Riding Mountain Tri

Chinook Triathlon Festival – Middle of June

Taking place in Calgary, AB, the race weekend offers a half and an Olympic triathlon. Held at Midnapore Lake, you’ll enjoy a scenic course in the foothills of the Rockies while pushing your limits. The swim is two loops of 750m, offering easy sighting landmarks and the cheers of spectators halfway through. The bike is an out and back 40K course, which offers stunning views of the Rockies. Then for the run you do one loop (10K), with a nasty hill at the end as you sprint for the line.

Vancouver Triathlon – Beginning of September

Occurring on the first weekend of September, the Vancouver Triathlon is the ideal race for those looking to finish the season off with their first Olympic distance triathlon. The swim takes place in English Bay on the shores of Second Beach. Triathletes will complete two laps of 750m, before running into transition and onto the bike leg on Park Drive. What is so unique about this race, is that the entire bike course is closed to car traffic. The race participants do four laps of Stanley Park, entirely on Park Drive. After the bike, you then do four laps of a 2.5K course all within Stanley Park.

The stunning backdrop of Vancouver