Travel guide to Triathletes: Ironman and 70.3 Mont-Tremblant

The charming village of Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, is the home of one of most well organized and beautiful races in the world, the Ironman Mont-Tremblant. The region also receives the Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant event. In 2014, the city was the host of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship, the first one outside of the United States. The success of the race got the attention of athletes and from the international media to this true treasure of the Triathlon.

This year, the staff of AsiaTRI was in loco to check out the great event of the region, the Ironman Mont-Tremblant. As Ironman 70.3 happens in the same location, and our team covered the World Championship of 2014, the advice of this guide are good for both events.

The surroundings of the city breath sports the whole year, since in the winter the snow activities lovers crowd the ski resorts and the cross-country skiing tracks. In the summer, cycling, golf, triathlon, road and mountain races, kayak and numerous other activities beautify the village even further.

©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group
©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group

The races in Mont-Tremblant are great for a family trip, since the resort offers several options of entertainment for all ages, including outdoor and indoor activities, like gravity racing, spas, aerial lifts, tracking, golf classes, water park, besides terrific restaurants and stores. Despite of the official language being French, the vast majority of people also speak English, which makes your trip even easier.

Race details

Both the Ironman and the 70.3 presents scenic routes, from the swimming to running. In the 70.3, the race consists in a 1.2 miles swim around the Tremblant Lake, a 56 miles lap around the city in an impeccable road and a racing lap that included a long stretch in the beutiful Le P’tit Train du Nord Park, an old train line that has become the biggest linear park of Canada. In the Ironman, the course includes a swimming around the Tremblant Lake and, then, two cycling laps and two running laps in the same course of the Ironman 70.3. The 70.3 happens in the end of June and the Ironman in the middle of August.

The finishing line is in the base of the resort, right in the center of the main square, beside the Chaletdes Voyageurs. The easiness of arriving in the location makes the finishing line crowded the whole day.

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©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group

Usually, it is allowed to swim with a wetsuit. Expect it to be a bit foggy in the start of the swim leg and in the first hour of the cycling part, also a bit cold. Talking about cycling, the race has a few ascents, but in general is quick, reason why many athletes choose to use disc wheels.

On the other hand, expect higher temperatures for the second half of the bike leg. Some years, the termometers reach more than 86 ºF, while others, below 68 ºF. For this reason, be prepared for both situations.

Arriving at Mont-Tremblant

Most of the athletes with destination to Mont-Tremblant land on Montreal International Airport (YUL) and make the course of around 80 miles by car. (approximately 1h30). An option is to rent a vehicle (be aware of the signs in French) and the other is to hire specialized service. The punctual Limousine Express Mont-Tremblant is accustomed to perform the transfer of athletes with their bikes, besides offering guided tours in English through the region (info@limousineexpress.ca – 819-429-9119). There is a small airport in Mont-Tremblant, with commercial flights leaving from Toronto, normally with high prices.

Where to Stay

The best options for the athletes are in the resort where the race takes place. There are several options of hotels, with highlights to the luxurious Fairmont Tremblant, the Homewood Suites and the exclusive Quintessence, frequented by artists from all over the world. All the hotels of the resort, no exception, are good, because there’s a strict standart control by the management of the enterprise. In the area, there are many restaurants, stores and convenience stores. Aditionally, they are a few minutes from the expo, and the starting and finishing lines. For those who intend to spend less, staying in one of the nearby villages is an option. Many villagers rent rooms, houses and chalets.

©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group
©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group

Services for Athletes and Family

The advantage of staying in the resort, besides experiencing the atmosphere of the race, is having easy access to the expo, where the stores with all the products the athletes needs and the bicycle mechanics are. For massages, the best option is to make the reservations straight with the concierge of your hotel. For the family, it is easy to follow the race from the resort, with all the available infrastructure.

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For the running and the cycling sections, the athletes have the option to train in many of the roads in the region, tracks and parks that start from resort Tremblant. In the days before the race, swimming is allowed in the lake, with some buoys already in place. For those who prefer a pool, the best option is in the Aquatic Center, which is 20 minute away by car, in downtown Mont-Tremblant.

Where to Eat

In the village, there are options for all tastes, including healthy options and pastas, athletes’ favorites. With the French culture very present, there’s no lack of sophisticated options for dinner, with the La Savoie. For pastas, the Coco Pazzo is very popular among the athletes. The Wok brings a sophisticated French and Asian combination, and the Casey’s has more internationally acknowledged options, like grills and sandwiches. The village has a microbrewery, the Le Diable, that offers different types of beer every week, a great option to celebrate after the race.

A little bit more distant, in downtown Mont-Tremblant, is the awarded restaurant sEb L’Artisan Culinaire, owned by the chef and culinary author, Sébastien Houle. He is the responsible for the pre and post race dinner of the athletes in the Ironman. The pasta dinner of the race is even considered the best of the world. In the race week, his restaurant offers special and delicious menus for the triathletes. There, it is also possible to acquire his books with recipes of the French culinary and other international culinaries. The wine lovers will also have their refined options in the restaurant.

What to Do After the Race

©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group
©Wagner Araújo / MundoTRI Group

As we have already described, there is an infinty of tours and summer programs, including more radical options as rafting though the rivers of the region. Many athletes also stay 2 to 3 days in Montreal, before catching the flight back, to get to know the beautiful Canadian city. As many people say, it is like being in France, but with all the easiness of speaking English.

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