An Extreme Adventure To The summit of Mont-Mégantic
On Sunday, July 7th, more than 200 athletes from approximately twenty countries will take on an exceptional personal challenge as they take part in the third edition of the CANADA MAN / WOMAN EXTREME TRIATHLON in the Lac-Mégantic region.
The only North American event that is part of the XTRI WORLD TOUR series, the 2019 CANADA MAN / WOMAN will be launched at 4:30 a.m., when participants will dive into the cold waters of Lac Mégantic to swim 3.8 km. The extreme endurance-based adventure will continue with a 180 km biking section lined with picturesque rolling hills offering a 2 500 m elevation gain. Ultimately, participants will run 42 km to reach the summit of Mont-Mégantic, after a full day of superhuman efforts.
Athletes will have until midnight to reach the finish line arch, after overcoming 226 km and a 4 000 m positive altitude change between the time the sun comes up and the time the stars come out.
Despite the intensity this unique event owes to its wild and authentic nature, many athletes will be back at the start line this year. Among them, Lyne Bessette and Jérôme Bresson, the 2018 champions, will be participating for the third time in as many years.
Beyond being the first woman to have reached the summit, 43-year-old Bessette also climbed to third place in overall point standings, with a finish time of 12 hours 37 minutes 43 seconds. Having won the first two editions of the Lac-Mégantic event, the Olympic athlete hopes to repeat the feat again this year.
“In my heart and in my mind, as an athlete, my goal is to win the race,” confided Lyne, “I want to complete a hat trick. I am a competitive girl. I won’t go there for just a bike ride! However, I am aware that there will be other competitive women this year. I expect the competition to be fierce. My goal will be to do my very best on the day of the event. Canada Man / Woman truly is one big adventure. That’s exactly how I see it: a new adventure every year.”
Lyne has spent the last few months helping participants of the 2019 edition prepare, sharing tips, and organizing, along with Daniel Poirier, one of the CANADA MAN / WOMAN event organizers, a training camp that was presented at the beginning of June.
“The purpose of the bootcamp was to motivate people, to dedramatize things somewhat,” explained Bessette, “because people must not see this as an Ironman, that’s not what it is at all. It’s an adventure, it’s extreme, it’s the social life that surrounds the sport. That’s what I wanted to offer others.”
As for Bresson, he completed the course in 10 hours 59 minutes 37 seconds. The 36-year-old athlete who finished 7th in the mythical Norseman in 2018 has different goals this year.
“First, I want to make it to the end proud of the way I managed my race,” says the athlete who will once again line up at the start line of the Norseman in August, “I am not necessarily expecting an extraordinary performance this year. My biggest challenge will be to see how my body will react just one week after completing the Canadian Ultra Trail Championship, a 110 km race. My goal will be to reach the summit without too many difficulties, with a smile on my face no matter what.”
Rivals for the Champions?
All eyes will be on Bessette and Bresson, but Caroline Livesey, a British athlete whose husband, Mark, will also participate in the 2019 CANADA MAN / WOMAN, and Jordan Bryden, from Calgary, could climb among the summit masters.
Livesey, a 40-year-old professional triathlete, has participated in numerous Ironman events, but this will be the first time she toes the start line of an XTRI WORLD TOUR event.
Bryden, 32 years old, is also a professional triathlete. He may very well pursue Bresson, our champion. Sylvain Lafrance, a 43-year-old from Victoriaville who finished 2nd in 2018 and 5th in 2017, will also be back for his third participation.
2019 CANADA MAN/WOMAN winners will earn a spot for the Xtri 2020 World Championship that will be presented in Norway, during the Norseman. Four spots for the 2020 Norseman will also be drawn among participants.