Défi de la Diable : a winter triathlon

On March 8, the Défi de la Diable hopes to see 300 participants don their crampon-fitted running shoes, their cross-country skis and their snowshoes to tackle the Domaine Saint-Bernard trails.

Cross-country ski champion Alex Harvey is the official spokesperson for this winter triathlon, which is a golden opportunity for him to positively influence the cross-country skiing community.

The Défi de la Diable, which enhances the Mont-Tremblant and Triathlon Québec calendars, aims to attract individuals in good shape who practise cross-country skiing, whether classic or skate style.

The goal is to encourage participants, who are often summer runners or triathletes, to train in winter. The challenge can be undertaken individually or in a team, over two different distances.

“At a time when everyone is promoting a healthy, active life, this kind of event allows more people to get into a sport and athletes to take on a complementary challenge, “ says Alex Harvey, five-time medalist in the FIS World Championships, in an interview with Tremblant Express.

“The Domaine Saint-Bernard has superb vistas,” he adds. “The surroundings are beautiful. The view of Mont Tremblant is spectacular.”

Alex Harvey


The first distance, “le Défi”, or “the challenge”, puts together 4 km of running, 8 km of cross-country skiing and 4.5 km of snowshoeing (running or walking) over a positive altitude change of 514 metres.

The second distance, nicknamed “l’enfer de Jack”, or “Jack’s hell” in honour of Jackrabbit Johannsen, offers a tougher challenge with an added 4 km of cross-country skiing through a steep section.

The rest of the course is the same, with one memorable portion running alongside the Diable River.


This winter, the Tri Connexion club will accompany participants with preparatory training sessions.

Last January, in the presence of the illustrious Alex Harvey – the most decorated Canadian in history outside the Olympic Games – participants were able to improve their sliding technique and become familiar with the course.

The next preparatory training session will be on February 8, which is a month before the race.

New this year

Several new aspects are anticipated for this third such event, says Dorian Baysset, organizer of the Défi de la Diable along with Événements Plein Air. On Saturday, March 7, at the Grand Lodge, when participants go to pick up their bibs there will be a waxing clinic offered by the Tremblant Nordique club, a presentation and a demo by Salomon.

On Sunday, March 8, participants will be well treated after their race with massage therapy workshops and a hearty meal.

The ecologically responsible event will award trophies made of wood to the winners, and participation medals only upon request. Following in the same footsteps as several racing events, the Défi de la Diable requires participants to bring their own reusable container to the refreshment stations.

“The Domaine Saint-Bernard is a little gem. We want to make sure participants have a fine experience as well as preserving the trails. So we want to avoid having too many people take off at once. Depending on the number of cross-country skiers, we might extend the race over several days, like the Pentathlon des Neiges in Quebec City,” says Dorian Baysset.

In order to maintain the quality of services to participants, this young, fast-growing event asks that you register as soon as possible prior to the closing of registration on March 2, 2020.


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Geneviève Huchette


Geneviève Huchette47 Posts

Geneviève Huchette a grandi à Montréal et a complété un baccalauréat en agronomie à McGill. Après ses études et quelques voyages, elle a atterri à Mont-Tremblant en 2008, d'abord pour un emploi sur une ferme biologique. Alors qu'elle continue de jardiner pour le plaisir, Geneviève travaille actuellement dans les domaines du yoga, de la vente au détail et de la rédaction. Dans ses temps libres, elle adore les sports en montagne, les jeux de société et jouer de la musique. Geneviève Huchette grew up in Montreal and completed a bachelor degree in Environmental and Agricultural Sciences at McGill University. After years of studying and travelling, she landed in Mont Tremblant in 2008, first to work on an organic farm. Although she still enjoys gardening for fun, Genevieve presently works in various domains: yoga, retail and writing. In her leisure time, she likes mountain sports, board games and playing music.


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