EDF Alpe d’Huez Kids Triathlon report

As we were already in the Alps for the Tour de France, we discovered a kids triathlon was running from the ski resort of Alpe d’Huez in late July, the week after the tour finished. This was our first Triathlon overseas, so it was interesting to see how it was done outside the UK.

The event was being run off the back of a large, well supported adult event, run over 4 days with various race distances available, in some stunning scenery, in both Duathlon and Triathlon formats. The whole family can have a go!

Registration, numbers and maps were all held in the event village Sports Hall. Plenty of English spoken so no concerns about any language barrier. Around 250 kids were entered, many from the UK and elsewhere outside France.

It’s an open-air pool based Kids Triathlon, however, it is run in ‘mass start’ waves of 20 at a time. This was good experience, as it was our 8-year old Connor’s first mass start. They obviously run it in waves of 20 as the area available for T1 outside the pool is small, producing some chaotic scenes at the start.

They swam 2 lengths of the 25m pool for his ‘Poussins’ age group (youngest age group 2006-2007 birth dates), followed by a pretty short 1km road route and a 200m run. Overall, these are shorter distances to what you might expect in the UK, but in 30+ degrees heat, that was no bad thing.

The ride was on a town centre route from the pool to the town’s sports ground, where the sizeable event village was based. Strangely, unlike the rest of the town – the main section of this route (Rue de la Grenouillère) was in a terrible state with literally hundreds of potholes. Thankfully, we didn’t hear of any accidents. Hopefully, that will be sorted out before next year.

The towns roads, despite plenty of Gendarme presence were not officially closed, so each wave had an escort car up front.

After the short run, competitors finished under the main event finish arch in the event village. All finishers received their medals, goodie bag and enjoyed a refreshing dip in the hot tub jaccuzis with plenty of fruit and water to cool down with.

8-year old Connor really enjoyed it. His first mass-start swim, finishing 4th in his wave on tired legs – we are pretty sure nobody else had ridden the 13.8km Col a couple for hours before with his 6-year old brother, just to get to the event!

Whilst a short, untimed event with a few organisational issues – all the kids competing seemed to love it. Many of the kids had parents competing in the main events that week, so the atmosphere was great. Oh and the entry fee – just 3 euros.

If you are looking for a real challenge next year as a Parent Competitor, but would love the opportunity to get the kids involved too – this has to be the perfect place for next years holiday! Lots of accommodation in Alpe d’Huez, plus plenty of campsites at the foot of the Col in Le Bourg d’Oisans, with plenty more cycling fun for the kids nearby.

2017 Age Group Categories and Distances;
‘Minimes’ born 2002-2003 = 150m swim, 4km ride, 400m run.
‘Benjamins’ born 2004-2005 = 100m swim, 3km ride, 400m run.
‘Pupilles’ born 2006-2007 = 75m swim, 2km ride, 200m run.
‘Poussins’ born 2008-2009 = 50m swim, 1km ride, 200m run.

The adult event uses the high altitude Lac du Verney for the swim and of course, the infamous 21 bends for the ride route (3 Cols for the Long Distance route!) it really is a great challenge to train for.