World Triathlon Corporation officially announced Whistler as the new venue of the Ironman Canada triathlon on Thursday afternoon.
There was some initial confusion from Tourism Whistler, who appeared to have jumped the gun on the announcement and posted it on their webpage before the official announcement. That was taken down, shortly after it was posted Thursday afternoon, which was followed by the official announcement from WTC. The event is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013.
“Whistler is recognized worldwide as a sought-after travel and outdoor recreation destination. As the new host community of Ironman Canada, Whistler will immediately earn a reputation as a triathlon destination,” said Steve Meckfessel, managing director of Global Race Operations for WTC. “With its accessibility to major west coast markets, stunning beauty and tourism infrastructure, Whistler will resonate with our athletes, their families and fans of Ironman.”
The race will start with a two-loop, 2.4-mile swim in the clean shallow waters of Alta Lake at Rainbow Park, which has an average water temperature of 19.5 to 22 C in late August. Athletes will enjoy a lakeside transition before starting a one-loop 112-mile bike course that is comparable in difficulty to the bike route at Ironman Lake Placid, Ironman Coeur d’Alene, and the previous Ironman Canada. Athletes will travel south on the Sea-to-Sky Highway before climbing into the Callaghan Valley, site of the Nordic skiing events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. After descending back to the highway, athletes pass through Whistler on their way north to Pemberton. An out-and-back section allows athletes views of glaciated peaks, while racing on a completely flat section of road. Athletes return to Whistler via the Sea-to-Sky Highway over rolling terrain. The two-loop run course follows the meandering Valley Trail past Lost Lake and Green Lake allowing spectators to reinvigorate athletes with a return through Whistler Village at the halfway point of the run before finishing adjacent to Whistler Olympic Plaza.
“Whistler is a world-class, all-season resort with a global reputation for producing and hosting international events of the highest calibre,” said Murphy. “Ironman Canada is a natural fit for our resort – and being selected as its new home speaks to Whistler’s ability to deliver an exceptional experience for both athletes and spectators.”
Ironman Canada will be a P-1000 race with a $25,000 USD professional prize purse. Additionally, the race will offer 100 age group slots to the 2013 Ironman World Championship taking place on Oct. 12, 2013.