For a country that has a lot of snow, Canada seems to have a scarce number of winter triathletes. We’ve got the summer end of things more than covered, with a long list of Olympic, Ironman and world champions. On the winter side of things? Not so much.
Will that change at all with the addition of a new event at this year’s winter worlds?
Duathlon will be included or the first time in the 24-year history of the World Triathlon Winter Championships this weekend as Andorra hosts the event for the second year in a row.
The duathlon format skips the bike and features a 4 km run and a 6 km ski done three times. Last year’s defending men’s winter triathlon champion Hans Christian Tungesvik from Norway will likely be the favourite for Thursday’s race considering the bike portion was his weakest leg at last year’s winter worlds. The same goes for Romania’s Maria Luis Rasin in the women’s race, too, who is making her fourth worlds appearance but has yet to make it to the top of the podium.
There’s not a Canadian to be found on the elite, U23 or junior start lists for the duathlon or triathlon start lists this weekend, which is hardly a surprise since winter triathlon hasn’t ever really been a popular race here in Canada. (Not to mention the challenges for travel thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.) While Quebec has hosted an S3 Winter Triathlon World Cup as part of the Pentathlon des Neiges in years past, that event hasn’t been held since 2020. The S3 event is also different to the racing we’ll see in Andorra since it features snowshoe, skate and ski legs.
It sure seems like the run/ ski duathlon format could be a popular race for Canadians, though. We’ll see if the addition of a world championship for the event helps with its popularity here in North America.
You can get more information about this weekend’s world championships here.