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Triathlons in Montreal, Mont-Tremblant cancelled due to poor air quality


The Ironman 70.3 race in Mont-Tremblant and the Groupe Copley World Triathlon in Montreal were cancelled Sunday due to poor air quality caused by wildfires in northern Quebec.

Roughly 3,700 triathletes were expected to participate in Mont Tremblant's half-Ironman, consisting of a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21.1 km run.

News of the event's cancellation was shared on the official Ironman website.

"IRONMAN has strict safety benchmarks in place for air quality, which have not been met and the forecast does not suggest the AQI [air quality index] will improve throughout the day. It is always our priority to ensure the safety of our participants, spectators, volunteers, staff, and all others that are involved in the event," the notice reads.

Mont Tremblant seen the morning the ironman triathlon was set to take place on June 25, 2023, but was cancelled due to massive amounts of smoke.

Stuart Barker was one of the thousands of triathletes expecting to cross the finish line Sunday and was disappointed to hear the news.

"First thing I did was I opened the blinds, and I looked out the window, and I noticed that there was a hazy glow over the mountains of Tremblant," he said Sunday.

"I had a look around. Everybody around me was super disappointed, as was I. But, ultimately, I think it was the right call because it was so thick and so strong that I had a burning sensation in my throat and my eyes."

Sunday's smog warning applies to large swaths of southern Quebec, including the Greater Montreal Area, where races were also cancelled, namely the Groupe Copley World Triathlon mixed relay and junior mixed relay.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) expects the smokey air to linger until Monday morning. Those affected are advised to reduce their exposure and shut the windows if possible.

"People who have a lung disease (such as asthma) or a heart disease, the elderly, children, pregnant women and people who work outdoors are more likely to feel the effects of smoke on their health," the ECCC advisory states.

There are currently 80 active wildfires in Quebec, in what has been the province's worst forest fire season on record. Top Stories

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