Ironman Canada could be coming to Whistler, BC in 2013 as Mayor Nancy Wihelm-Morden confirmed on Friday, Sept. 28 that the city has been shortlisted as a possible location for Canada’s largest endurance triathlon. Whistler submitted its proposal after the city of Penticton decided not to invite the triathlon giant back next summer. Penticton announced that it is partnering with the Challenge Family, a triathlon organization based in Germany, to bring Challenge Penticton to the city in 2013.
Confirmed by Steve Meckfessel, the event licensing director with the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), Whistler, Kelowna, and Huntsville are the three communities in the running to be the new host for Ironman Canada. The WTC published a news release on Friday morning announcing the shortlist of potential host communities. Meckfessel didn’t say anything beyond what was mentioned in the release.
Three Canadian Communities Shortlisted…
The three shortlisted host communities for Ironman Canada 2013, were selected from seven Canadian communities that submitted bids. The WTC will now travel to all three shortlisted communities in B.C and Ontario to evaluate the suitability of each location. According to Meckfessel, the shortlisted host communities should receive a final decision by mid-October. Additional event-related details will also be released with the decision on the host community.
Wilhelm-Morden took to her Facebook page to express her excitement with the recent news.“Cudos to our staff and that of TW who put this big together in very short order” wrote Whistler’s mayor. In conjunction with the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler submitted the big earlier this month through a big committee partnership.
In the past, Penticton’s Ironman Canada event drew 3,000 athletes each year, including thousands of family and friends who visited the city to support the participants.
The logistics of hosting an Ironman event in Whistler could be considerable. The Ironman begins with a mass start swim covering 2.4 miles (3.9km), followed by a 112-mile (180.25km) bike leg, and finished with a 26.2 (42.2km) marathon.
Hundreds of staff and volunteers are required each year to put on the event that generates nearly $10 million in economic benefits each year.
Chosen Ironman City Minimum Time Commitments…
Ironman Canada is looking for a minimum five-year commitment from the chosen host city, with the hope that there may be interest in signing on long-term.
With 190 events around the world, the largest event that the WTC hosts is the Ironman World Championships held each year in Hawaii. The chosen host city for Ironman Canada will likely also be a qualifier for the race in Hawaii as Penticton was for many years.
The Ironman World Championships are taking place on October 13.