CANADIAN RACE 22 ITU World Triathlon Montreal
TO ME, THE old CHOM (Montreal’s iconic rock radio station) slogan says it all: Montreal: North America’s greatest city. With the stunning Mount Royal in the backdrop and Vieux Montreal’s iconic cobbled streets and centuries-old buildings along the waterfront, Montreal exudes a unique charm that proclaims its French-Canadian character.
This is reason enough to make Montreal a worthwhile destination, but with the rapid rise of the ITU World Triathlon Montreal event, the city has become a bucket-list addition to any triathlete’s August race calendar.
That’s especially true this year – the race serves as a qualifier for the Canadian team that will compete at the 2019 ITU World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland (sprint and standard-distance), and, thanks to the addition of a long-distance race this year, the ITU Multisport World Championship in Pontevedra, Spain.
But you don’t have to be gunning after a spot on the national team to make the trip to Montreal worth the effort. There’s something for virtually any multisport fan at the Montreal event. On the triathlon front there are U13 and U15 races (375 m/10 km/2.5 km), sprint, standard and even a long-distance race (2 km/80 km/20 km). Duathletes can take in a sprint- (5 km/20 km/2.5 km) or standard-distance (10 km/40 km/5 km) race. There’s even 5 and 10 km run events, too. Throw in the chance to watch the world’s best compete in the draft-legal WTS race, and you have the makings of a spectacular race weekend.
Basking in all the triathlon fervour through the weekend would be a wasted opportunity, though – taking a few extra days to take in some of the Montreal sights is a must.
Spending some time in Old Montreal is a logical first step to your trip to the race. The exquisite restaurants, cafés and bars offer excellent cuisine, and it’s easy to lose a few hours simply strolling through the distinctive galleries and stores. Choosing one of the boutique hotels in the area provides the ultimate opportunity to embrace the historic charm.
As much as the city is culturally rich with theatres and museums, there are lots of other activities to keep the family entertained. I can’t take a trip to Montreal without at least one visit up Mount Royal – either as a walk to take in the beautiful view of the city, or as a run where I can enjoy the beautiful vista while enjoying a workout on the gravel paths. A day at La Ronde, Canada’s second-largest amusement park built on the grounds of Expo 67, is sure to be a hit with thrillseekers of all ages. Speaking of Expo 67, Île Sainte-Hélène is worth a tour with a chance to take in the environmental centre in the Biosphere (another of the classic Expo 67 structures). If you time things right, you can combine the trip to the island with a swim in one of the three pools that have hosted numerous national and world championships, or a ride around the famous Gilles Villeneuve race track.
The list could go on for a while, but suffice it to say that WTS Montreal won’t disappoint as a destination race for triathletes, their friends and family. See for yourself why so many are happy with CHOM’s take on the historic gem that is Montreal.