Dec. 2, 2017
in the Cambridge dictionary and it makes it easy to define our search terms for this feature: Exotic, according to the learned folks who publish the world’s most popular English dictionary, is: “unusual and exciting because of coming (or seeming to come) from far away, especially a tropical country.”
We added a couple more requirements for our exotic races – our chosen events had to be ones we had not reported on ever before and must take place through the winter, providing some much-needed anticipatory light at the end of the Canadian winter tunnel. So here you have it, four destination races that are sure to be both unusual and exciting and, hopefully, as exotic for you as for us. An island just north of Madagascar off the coast of Africa, Reunion (referred to as the “Hawaii of the southern hemisphere”) has been hosting a triathlon event since the mid-’80s – even six-time Kona champ Mark Allen competed at the 1986 event. The 4 km swim, 120 km bike and 23 km run event takes in much of the island’s spectacularly rich and diverse tropical paradise.
The swim takes place in the 28 C waters of the St. Pierre Lagoon. The epic bike ride takes athletes through a series of long climbs, finishing in the heart of the island near the Plaine des Remparts. The final leg of the race includes a 23 km trail run that includes 2,400 m of climbing and running near the Piton de la Fournaise volcano.
“With its extraordinarily varied terrain, Ocean Lava Réunion is a new dream destination for lovers of challenging triathlon race courses,” says Ocean Lava founder Kenneth Gasque. “There is a tropical climate with palm trees, warm water, coral teeming with colourful fish, but also plenty of lava rocks, leg bursting climbs, scenic views, technical single track, river crossings, beach sand and of course a very enthusiastic local triathlon community.”
Ocean Lava Reunion Island