It’s gnarly. It’s climby. It’s PACE Multisport Dodge City X, and it’s being billed as the toughest off-road triathlon ever held in Canada.

Slated for September 9 in Cumberland, BC, in the rugged heart of Vancouver Island, PACE Multisport Dodge City X represents the latest evolution of cross triathlon, the world’s fastest-growing multisport category. How tough is it? Triathlon BC actually had to adopt new standards and a new classification system for cross triathlon courses to accommodate the race’s rooty climbs, rocky descents and narrow bridges.

To cross the Dodge City X finish line, competitors will first have to swim 1.5 km through the glacier-fed waters of Comox Lake. Then they’ll mountain bike over 23 kilometres of some of Vancouver Island’s most technical singletrack before capping it all off with a glute-busting, 9.5-km trail run that promises to “separate the truly committed from the woefully unprepared.” The entire standard course features approximately 950 m of elevation gain; relay and sprint options are also available.

“Anyone who’s ridden in Cumberland knows that it takes a lot of riding to get 20 kilometres,” says local cross triathlete Derek Vinge, who’s fresh off a top-10 age group finish at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. “It’s easy to look at the distances and underestimate this race. This is some of the best technical singletrack on the West Coast; there aren’t many easy kilometres in Cumberland.”

For more information, please visit the website.

Image: Sarah Seads