64th Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean FINA UltraMarathon Swim Series 2018


Sprint TIM HORTONS (500 last meters)



Every summer since 1955, elite swimmers from around the world have been attracted to the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean held in Roberval. Each year, 25 men and women from a dozen countries participate in this prestigious 32 km cult* marathon which requires, on average, 7 hours of physical and psychological endurance. The Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean always takes place on the last Saturday of July. The competitors, both men and women, start off at 8:30 AM from Péribonka, a municipality located on the other side of the lake. The fastest among them begin to arrive in the Roberval harbour around 2:30 PM where thousands of spectators greet them warmly with loud applause. Year after year, one witnesses exciting and emotional finishes and the shattering of world records. Participants in the 32 km marathon share $40,000 in prize money.

* Why is it a “cult” marathon?

A scientific study completed in 1994 by the American magazine “Outside” placed la Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean among the six most challenging sports events in the world. What distinguishes la Traversée from all other open water competitions is the water basin itself. With a surface area exceeding 1,000 km2, lac St-Jean or Pekuakami (signifying “vast lake” in the language of the Ilnus of lac St-Jean), resembles a true inland sea: majestic yet unpredictable. In short, the lake can be full of surprises, i.e. variable weather conditions, water temperatures varying from 17 0C to 23 0C, and waves towering as much as 2 m (6 ft.) in height. To triumph over a lake like Pekuakami  is a feat in itself, and the reason why so many world-class swimmers dignify the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean a “cult” marathon.