According to the final count, 3,567 athletes took part in the 10-day long ITU Multisport World Championship in August, representing 41 countries.
An exit survey showed about 34 per cent of them stayed for a week or more, and 86 per cent said they were likely to visit Penticton again.
“For a lot of them it was their fist time in Penticton and the majority of them said they would come back,” said Michael Brown, the event organizer. “It is promising. What we wanted to achieve, we did.”
The beauty of Penticton and the surrounding region played a big part in that, Brown said.
“Not very many places in the world can you swim in a lake that is as beautiful as Okanagan Lake, ride your bike for five minutes and you’re out in some of the best riding, I believe, in the world,” said Brown, adding that the running and biking, on road or on trail, is just as great.
“The City of Penticton and the area has something to offer every type of endurance athlete. It’s amazing,” said Brown.
According to Brown’s report, which he delivered to council Tuesday, the total economic impact from the athletes, supporters, officials and volunteers is estimated at $8,686,720.
Brown says he’s excited for what is to come next, which in his case is the Super League Triathlon event, which replaces Challenge Penticton in August 2018.
Super League Triathlon is a three-day format featuring both age group and professional athletes competing in a shorter, faster race format.
The three day event (Aug. 17 to 19, 2018) includes mass-participation age group racing featuring triathlon Equalizer events and an Enduro event.
“I think people are looking for more of a festival atmosphere, where it is not all about them racing,” said Brown, emphasizing auxiliary events and making the races spectator friendly for the athletes’ families.
“The spectator in Ironman distance race, if it is one loop, you only see your family once every five or six hours. It is not that exciting for the family. We want to make sure it is enjoyable for the athlete, but also enjoyable for their support group.“
Registration for Super League Triathlon Penticton opened Nov. 1. Brown said its moving quick and they expect to meet their goal of having over 1,000 athletes in Penticton next August for the event.
“I don’t believe there is anywhere like it (Penticton) in the world to put on events. Super League is going to some of the most iconic cities in the world and for Penticton to be held in the same breath with those cities, it’s pretty outstanding,” said Brown. “We look forward to being able to do events in Penticton for many years to come.”