The International Triathlon Union (ITU) today announced its support of a new winter triathlon format made up of snowshoeing, speed skating and skiing.
ITU, in association with Pentathlon des neiges, will host the Quebec ITU Winter Triathlon Event on 8-9 March, 2014. While the race marks the 10th anniversary of the event, it will serve as ITU's first involvement with the sport.
"From the historic site of the Plains of Abraham and with the expertise of the organizers of the Pentathlon, everything is in place to write a new page in the wonderful history of triathlon," said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.
With the popularity and the exceptional growth of summer triathlon, ITU is working to develop the winter equivalent in hopes the events will one day be included in the Winter Olympics.
The event is already attracting attention, as Olympic biathlon medalist Sylvie Becaert and six-time biathlon World Cup medalist Rene Laurent Vuillermoz have confirmed their participation in the event. Athletes will compete in a 5km snowshoe, 12km speed skating and 8km ski course in the Plains of Abraham.
"The winter triathlon event meets ITU's need to develop a winter discipline. This international event will radiate throughout the city. We have innovated by creating a new sport that, by agreement with ITU, will reoccur annually," said Pentathlon des neiges CEO François Calletta.
In addition to the elite races, age groupers and paratriathletes will also have the opportunity to compete in the race a day ahead of the professionals. Following the races, Quebec will host an international meeting on the development of winter triathlon.
Registration for the Quebec ITU Winter Triathlon Québec and various aspects of the Pentathlon race will begin in October.
Photo credit: Triathlon.org/Delly Carr