On July 15 Ville Marie Quebec hosted the 15th annual Festival des Saines Habitudes de Vie – a healthy lifestyle festival that featured races and events for active people of all ages.
Races included a 300m dash for children aged 3-4; a youth triathlon for kids aged 4-13; 1K, 5K, and 10K races for all ages; a sprint duathlon, a beginner triathlon, a sprint triathlon, and an Olympic triathlon. Approximately 180 people took part, including 25 in the Olympic triathlon (up from only 3 participants last year), and 15 in the Sprint Duathlon.
My hubby took part in the Olympic triathlon, and I raced in the Sprint Duathlon. Because it was a smaller event, the race courses for all multi-sport events were the same; I enjoyed this immensely because, as a slower racer who hadn’t trained much for the event (it was a spontaneous decision to register a week prior to the event), I thought I’d be near the back and be all alone on course. I never was alone once, and the looped course provided ample opportunity to cheer on the other racers!
The run course was a 2.5K fairly flat loop through residential neighbourhoods and with two water stations; the bike course was a 10K challenging and hilly loop. The Sprint Duathlon consisted of a 5K run, a 20K bike, and a 2.5K run. The routes were all very well marked, and there were very enthusiastic volunteers on every corner; Triathlon Quebec was also on hand to ensure no drafting was taking place, and tracking bib numbers as we passed to ensure we all did the appropriate amount of loops.
I found this event to be extremely well organized, and very friendly and welcoming to everyone. Most of the announcements were only in French, however a lot of the important information was relayed in English as well. If you had any questions or didn’t understand something, there were plenty of bilingual people to ask; I know just enough French that I could easily understand and explain what was going on. The race director was bilingual and she came around after the event asking those of us from out of town how we liked the course, and if there was anything they could have done better.
With a $60 registration fee, participants received a very well-made dry bag to keep; there were no t-shirts or participant medals. The only incident that occurred was on the bike course; there were a couple of areas where sand had gotten onto the route and where there were also some rather large cracks in the road right on the bike path, and my hubby and his friend, who were on triathlon racing bikes, crashed hard. Those of us going slower, however, didn’t have an issue.
All in all, I found this to be a wonderful event. The atmosphere and scenery were perfect, the events were very well organized, and the volunteers were incredible. I can’t wait to go back again next year!