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VERBIER X TRI - Catie Friend, Verbier
Sunday August 26, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

It's triathlon season and Switzerland is buzzing with the joys of swim, bike, run.

Following hot on the heels of another successful Lausanne International Triathlon last weekend, and many others around the country, comes the Verbier X Triathlon (formerly 123 Cross) on 1st and 2nd September.

In its second year now, the triathlon has grown from a local event to one that is gathering national recognition.

Support from Swiss team elite cross-triathletes Ladina Buss and event ambassador Xavier Dafflon is adding to the growing momentum of this competition.

Last year, we wrote about the event before and after explaining that a cross triathlon is one that involves trail running and mountain bikes, as opposed to its more commonly known road-based counterpart.

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This year, all the favourite distances are back, with the addition of a swim/bike duathlon. There really is something for everyone:

  • Classic - 1.5 km open water swimming, 24 km MTB with 0.9km altitude, 12 km running with 0.2km altitude.
  • Sprint - 0.5 km open water swimming, 14 km MTB with 0.45km altitude, 6 km running with 0.1km altitude
  • Bike & Run - 24 km MTB with 0.9km altitude, 12 km running with 0.2km altitude
  • Swim & Run - 1.5 km open water swimming, 12 km running with 0.2km altitude
  • Swim & Bike - 1.5 km open water swimming, 24 km MTB with 0.9km altitude

Kids are involved too, with age-dependent distances for each discipline.

There was a huge showing from the local kids last year and the organisers are hoping for a repeat performance this September.

The biggest change this year is that although the triathlon is on the Sunday (2nd), there is an all-singing, all-dancing Fête d'été going on all weekend.

The gouille (reservoir filled with water straight from the mountains) in Le Châble and the surrounding area will be alive with activities such as stand-up paddleboarding, open mic sessions, giant trampoline, water-walkers, kids play garden, pétanque and e-bike testing.

On Saturday only there will also be massage workshops, rock painting and charcoal drawing as well as a kids' triathlon discovery session.

There will be live music, DJs and yours truly commentating again - lots of incredible sounds to get the mood going.

To sustain us all there will be food & drink stands including coffee stands, BBQ with salad bar and pasta, raclette (naturally, in the home of melted cheese with potato...) and locally brewed craft beers.

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Tickets for the festival activities and lunch options can be purchased on the day, but there are some savings to be made if you buy the passes in advance:
  • A day pass for the family including all activities can be purchased for just Fr. 35
  • Food and drink tokens normally worth Fr. 30.- can also be bought online for just Fr. 25
  • If you just want to buy activity bracelets, then these can be purchased online (including a free drink!) for just Fr 15 each per day.

To enter the triathlon, find out about the weekend of activities and to buy tickets go to the 123 Cross website.

It was a really well organised, fun event last year and I see no reason why it won't be even better in 2018.

See you there!

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