It is disappointing to see the venom with which some residents attack Ironman Canada athletes. The Ironman experience was fantastic for the Penticton area and I have high hopes that the Penticton Challenge will be just as inspiring.
There has always been such a wonderful, positive, healthy energy around this event that it lifts the spirits of the entire city. The economic benefits have also been huge and it has been well worth the relatively minor traffic inconveniences that have resulted from this. Sure, it’s hard to cross Main Street for four or five hours on Sunday; so what? Given the importance to the community, locals should be able to plan around this event.
This year I found the cyclists to be particularly thoughtful as they were training in the Okanagan. They didn’t bunch up and they generally tried to stay on their portion of the road. It’s too bad that some motorists couldn’t show them the same courtesy. These athletes are tremendous role models for all the sedentary people in our community and they add so much in the short time that they are here. Let’s hope that the Penticton Challenge keeps this tradition going for many more years to come.