Every year, when I'm thinking about potential races for the upcoming season, I always include one or two events that I've never done before. A couple of months back, I came across The Ultimate XC, a 3 day adventure stage race that takes place at Mt. Tremblant. Day 1 is a 67km kayak, day 2 a 58 km trail run and day 3 a 100km mountain bike. You can choose to do individual days, and distances vary. There was absoulutely no way that I was going to register for the whole shebang...a 67km kayak would probably reduce me to smithereens, and with a lack of long distance kayak experience, my biggest concern would be trying to take a whiz over the side of the boat. Instead, I opted for the 50km mountain bike race. There's a selection criteria to enter the mountain bike races based on results in Quebec enduro races and past race experience. In other words, I had to send in my "race resume", because according to the description, this will be the hardest race I've ever done:
"The races are set on the toughest terrain we found in Tremblant. Although at least 97% of the race course is ridable, you should still expect having to dismount a few times to take a break.You should be prepared for a 7 hour day if you are doing the 50 km race and a good 10 hours if you are registering for the 100 km. Only very experienced riders with extensive background in endurance mountain biking should consider doing the entire distance at a pace faster that 11 km an hour average."
I'm not so sure about 7 hours for a 50 km race....compared with other races I've done, I wouldn't expect more than 3 hours. BUT, I've never ridden at Tremblant, so I'm not too sure what to expect in terms of trails and terrain. However, this convenient little video gives you a taste of what to expect:
So a lot of technical climbing from the looks of it, a bit of downhill biz...I'm starting to think it's going to be almost 50km of straight up technical rocky, rooty singletrack...great. But as long as they play the Beastie Boys during the race, I'm fine with that. Whatever the course has in store, though, it should be challenging (in a good way), and it's only a 2 hour drive away...bonus. At least I have almost 3 months to get ready for this, while the first race of the year that I'm eyeing is only 1 month away. All of this snow is definitely not helping, and as long I know now that I'm gonna suffer, a month from now, I *think* I'll manage. That's what I have to tell myself, anyway, and hope that my bubble doesn't burst.