Race Information

Race Information/Instructions

Winterlude Triathlon Instructions 2023

Below is essential information to make your Winterlude Triathlon experience as enjoyable as possible.

New for 2023, the order of events are skate, run, ski.  

The SKATE begins and finishes on the Rideau Canal Skateway at Bronson and Dows Lake.  It will be 3 or 4 loops (TBC once the ice is set up).

The SKATE to RUN transition zone is at the same location as the START.
The RUN is on the path northbound to around Seneca, and then southbound to the Terry Fox Facility at Mooney’s Bay.
The SKI is on the City of Ottawa ski course at the Terry Fox Facility.  You can actually ski on it before race day.  It’s two 3km loops.
There is FREE parking onsite at Terry Fox. There are warm change rooms and flush toilets!   

And warm seats?

Bus transportation is provided to get you and your supporters from Terry Fox to the START, and supporters back to the FINISH.

Winterlude Triathlon 2023 Specific Details and Rules


It’s going to be a lot of fun.

As race day, Saturday Feb. 4th, approaches, here are the finer details of how the 2023 Winterlude Triathlon is going to work, and what you need to know.

Please read this document right to the end, especially your ‘almost mandatory’ race morning timeline.

We have arranged for three school buses to take you and your spectators/supporters to the start of the race, and your supporters from the Canal back to Terry Fox and the FINISH area.  Buses will begin at 7:00 am. They will run constantly and leave when close to the socially distanced version of full. Last bus departs Terry Fox at 7:30 AM. 

Participants will be dropped off in the parking lot along Colonel By Dr right across from the START location.

The START is on Dows Lake at the Bronson warming hut area, where there are washrooms, warming huts and maybe even a campfire or two.  The SKATE to RUN transition is in the same location, and the run course is on the path as pictured on the race map site.

With that said, here is your race morning routine:


On race morning:

Arrive at Terry Fox Athletic Facility/Mooney’s Bay no later than 7:00 AM.

Park for free at Terry Fox Facility.

Get your timing chip from the Sportstats tent, near the bus pick up location.

Understand the layout of the RUN to SKI transition zone. In one end, out the other. Then set up your run to ski transition spot.

Put your running shoes on, grab your warm clothing and bag, skates and other run stuff (with optional knapsack and/or helmet).

Make sure you have your timing chip and your bib number is visible on your front (jacket or leg, right or left side).

Shuttle buses to the START run from 7:00-7:30.

Get on one of the shuttle buses provided that will take you to the START.  

Understand and set up your SKATE to RUN transition zone spot.

Enjoy the time on the ice with the warming huts/washrooms/firepit and hang out there until the ‘8:00 am sharp’ start.  DO NOT BE LATE!

We do have a warm clothing transport vehicle.  10-15 min before the start, load your warm clothing into the cube van at the START in a labelled bag.  No loose equipment.

Race courses can be seen here:  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29154054

The skate course will be 3 or 4 counterclockwise loops around Dows Lake and Hartwell Locks.  The actual number of laps will be confirmed once the ice is actually made.

You can wear any kind of skate you want–speed, hockey, figure or clip-on blades.

The run course will go up the access ramp, then left on the pathway to Seneca Ave, then u-turn and back on the path to Hogs Back Rd, Riverside Dr, then to the entrance to Mooney’s Bay staffed by volunteers and marked by cones.

The ski course will be two 3km loops.  The course will be trackset for both skate and classic ski techniques.

The FINISH line will be under the Bushtukah blow-up arch.  There will be volunteers in place to help you follow the correct course as well as remove your timing chip when you finish.


  1. No outside assistance is allowed at any point in the race.
  2. All participants must run in running shoes.  That is to say, you cannot run in your ski boots.  We all know how slippery they are on ice and pavement, so that is not allowed.
  3. No track spikes.  You can wear Yaktrax or put screws in the soles of your shoes, but not actual track spikes.  They have traditionally not been worth it anyway.
  4. ALL participants must run with their skates or boots and blades the entire 5km.  You are not allowed to:
    1. Drop them, run to the turnaround and back, then pick them up on the way back
    2. Give them to anyone along the way.  This is in part due to fairness–not everyone has more than one pair of ski boots, or a supporter to help them.
    3. The pathway and transition zones are too small to accommodate supporters standing in the way, grabbing or being handed equipment.


 There will be washrooms on the Canal at Bronson, which will be open early for us.

There will be a cube van at the START to take your warm clothing back to Mooney’s Bay.  Put your warm clothing in a well labeled bag to make things simpler for us to transport, and for you to find.

Shuttle buses to the start will begin rolling at 7:00 with the last one going at 7:30.  It is very important for you to be set up at Mooney’s Bay on time and catch one of the buses.

Volunteers and supporters are welcome to use the shuttle buses to and from the START.  There is no guarantee the bus will be at the FINISH in time to see the first finishers, but it should be close.

Skating with a helmet has become popular.  It is not mandatory, but it is something you might consider.  If you wear one, though, you will have to bring it back to Mooney’s Bay while you run.

If you are unlucky enough to fall during the skate, tuck your arms in to your body and only try to get up when safe.

If you are around someone who fall, please shout “Skater down!” to warn others.

The Rideau Canal Skateway is open to the public.  Please be considerate of everyone’s right to be on the ice.  That said, the front skaters will likely provide enough of a signal to let the general public know there is something happening on the ice.

A knapsack is allowed fo the run portion (a very good idea).

The skate/run transition will be on the Colonel By Dr side of the Canal at the warming huts.  Before the START, count the pylons from the direction of your approach to narrow your search for equipment when you are racing.

The first 500m of the run will go up the ramp, turn left and run the path to Seneca before turning around.  Please run on the left side of the pathway for this section.  Move over to the right side after you have passed the ramp and there are no more oncoming runners.

We will not transport equipment left behind on Dows Lake to Mooney’s Bay, nor will we be responsible for any equipment left behind.

The Run to Ski transition zone will be along the fence at the bottom of the toboggan hill, on the inside of the facility.

The ski course will be 2 loops of 3km.

If you plan to drive to the start (but you should not), DO NOT stop on Colonel By Dr.  Instead, unload in the parking lot across the road from the START.  It is right across the road from the START and skate to run transition zone.

We look forward to seeing you at race kit pick-up on Friday Feb 3rd at Bushtukah between 17:00 and 19:00.


FINISH will be under the Bushtukah arch, beside the run to ski transition zone.

Awards will be given out to the top 3 male and females in in 5 year age groups, around 10:30AM, near the FINISH line 

Thanks in advance to Bushtukah for the merchandise prizes.

Results will be posted at http://www.sportstats.ca

No refunds will be issued for any reason.  Organizers reserve the right to modify the courses to ensure participant safety.

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