At over 1,000 metres the beautiful Lac Montriond, part of the UNESCO Global Geopark, was the location for the inaugural triathlon hosted in the Montriond ~ Morzine area of the Haute Savoie.
This pilot event was run and hosted by Buzz Events with support from the local triathlon club, Tri Montagne, and the Montriond commune. Following its massive success, the event will become an annual triathlon under the auspices of Fédération Française de Triathlon and the International Triathlon Union.
Even the highest quality photographs do not do this location justice; a stunning turquoise lake, which was originally created by glacial activity, is fed by a beautiful waterfall. The lake, which is frozen most winters, is surrounded on one side by cliffs towering hundreds of metres above it and on the other side by mountains rising over 2,000 metres. Is there a prettier location for a triathlon anywhere in the world?
The event, which this year was held on Sunday 2ndSeptember, will become an official fixture in the international triathlon calendar and be held on the first Sunday in September every year. Next years event will be held on Sunday 1stSeptember and online entries will open in the new year.
As a pilot event the number of entries was strictly restricted, and only 100 adults and 30 juniors participated as either individuals or in teams. The adult sprint event consisted of a 750 metre swim in the lake followed by a 20 km bike ride, on closed roads, and the run was around the lake on a trail over 5km. The junior event consisted of a 100 metre swim followed by a 2km bike ride and ended with a 1km run by the side of the lake.
On the day the weather was very kind to competitors with a bright, but chilly, start at 8am. The morning chill created patches of steam fog adding to the amazing atmosphere as the swimmers ran and then dived into the lake and passed anti-clockwise around a number of clearly marked buoys before exiting the lake.
A short run took competitors into the transition area for the first time where a quick change of clothing had them putting helmets on and un-racking their bikes before heading out onto the road to complete 2 sunny laps of a 10km loop. The ride followed the lake, passed the waterfall and up to the ski station of Ardent where a turn around point had them coming back past the lake and headed down into Montriond where another turning point brought them back up to the lake; a total altitude gain over the 2 laps of 450 metres.
Racking their bikes after the ride saw the entrants leave the transition area and headed for the scenic 5km trail loop around the lake. Finishing at the edge of the lake competitors admired their finishers’ medals and talked about what a beautiful location for a triathlon and how they would be back for next year’s event.
With the ongoing support of the Morzine and Montriond communes as well as many local businesses the event was managed professionally by Buzz Events, with the support of Tri Montagne, and was deemed a complete success and is destined to become a competitors favourite on the international triathlon circuit.
Next year the entry numbers will be increased, but still restricted, and, as it is in probably the most beautiful location for a triathlon early entry will be required to guarantee a place.
PHOTOS BY MARTINE ENSELME