XTerra Tremblant – a distinctive cross-country triathlon

© Guillaume Vincent

After a pandemic pause in 2020, Domaine Saint-Bernard is again hosting the events of the cross-country triathlon XTerra Tremblant, from August 27 to 29. A cross-country triathlon includes three events: swim in open water, mountain bike and trail run. Three levels are offered: standard, the longest, most demanding distances; sprint, with shorter, less technical distances; super-sprint: with shorter and easier distances.

Each level represents, nonetheless, a good challenge in terms of the participant’s own experience. The event is part of the XTerra World Tour, an international circuit that includes one hundred or so competitions in 34 countries. In each one, one event serves as the qualifier for participation in the World Championship which takes place annually in Hawaii. In Canada, the qualification XTerra event will be held in Québec August 14 and 15 and provides 26 places in the World Championship, to be held October 31 in Maui.

Patrick Lussier, a regional sports personality, is co-director of XTerra Tremblant, along with Alain Déraspe, director of the Québec race. He presents the main characteristics of the event. “First, the Domaine Saint-Bernard is an ideal site. The organization is welcoming, receptive and provides us with very good support. There’s all the space needed to mingle with and observe the participants.

We want the event to remain sociable, so we limit the number of participants to between 250 and 500. This number allows us to meet our budget and even pay an organization team. The goal is not to make money, but to cover our expenses and, if possible, give back to the site. In 2019, we donated wood which allowed the Domaine to build a culvert.”


“The swim loop on Lac Raynaud is 400 metres in length; it is completed one, two or three times depending on whether the participant has chosen the super sprint (beginner), sprint (beginner-intermediate), or standard (intermediate). The distance is covered at a rate of about two minutes per 100 metres, so 18 to 30 minutes.”

Mountain bike

“The mountain bike event had been was held in 2019 on trail A1, a wide forest path badly damaged since by the torrential rain at the end of June 2021. This year, the paths that go around Mont Onontio will be used, a 7-kilometre loop to be ridden once, twice or four times. The course is not technically difficult, but it is physically demanding: the hills are long and unrelenting.

In contrast to a Québec race on narrow trails, wider paths encourage passing. Mountain bikes with suspension are strongly recommended for the event, of which the longest version takes about an hour and a half.”

© Guillaume Vincent

Trail run

“For the run, the course uses the trails to the summit of Mont Onontio, then climbs to the summit of Mont Saint-Bernard before returning to the Domaine centre, so about 40 to 90 minutes in all. It’s a highly technical course; you can’t just let yourself go, but have to hold back so you can manage your way across rocks and roots.

Trail running shoes are a good help. Almost all the companies offer them; they’re like road running shoes, but the sole with cleats provides better traction and a gummy material for wet surfaces. While the events are aimed at seasoned participants, younger people and beginners can get started in the competition via the super-sprint: it’s the shortest distance, with fewer climbs and descents.

The site allows good viewing of the participants each time around, and if it rains, you can get excellent shots of the mud-covered runners.”

Registration is open till August 25.



More from this author by clicking on his photo below.

Daniel Gauvreau


Daniel Gauvreau72 Posts

Récréologue et journaliste de formation, tour à tour organisateur, formateur, consultant, chroniqueur et traducteur dans le milieu du plein air, Daniel Gauvreau est passionné d’activité physique en extérieur. De retour d’un périple au Québec et en France, il a choisi les Hautes-Laurentides pour satisfaire son amour de la nature. Semi-retraité, moniteur de ski de fond à SFMT, son expérience profite désormais aux lecteurs de Tremblant Express. Recreation professional and journalist by education, organizer, trainer, consultant, columnist and translator about the outdoors by experience, Daniel Gavreau is passionate about physical activity outside. Following a trip through Québec and France, he chose the Hautes-Laurentides as the place to satisfy his love of nature. Semi-retired and teaching cross-country skiing with SFMT, he now offers his experience to Tremblant Express readers.


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