The South Okanagan and Similkameen will host one of North America’s most challenging endurance events: Ultra520K Canada on the August long weekend, the 15th anniversary of the race.
The three-day individual event consists of 520 kilometres of swimming, biking and running. This year’s race features 25 athletes from 11 countries including Canada (five), United States (seven), Australia, Spain (five),Singapore, Ireland, England, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Guatemala. The field consists of six women and 19 men. In order to be invited, competitors must complete at least an iron distance race (226.3km) in under 14.5 hours during the past 18 months.
There is one returning athlete this year, Ingrid Hillhouse of Houston Tex, who has completed the course in Canada twice. There are also three athletes who participated in previous events as a crew members.
Ultra520K competitors typically have long lists of athletic achievements and this years’ competitors are no exception. Kate Bevilaqua of Australia in particular has a very extensive resume and is well known as a professional in the Ironman circuit having been crowned the women’s division champion of Ironman Western Australia with a personal best of nine hours, 19 minutes, Ironman Louisville and Ironman Korea. In addition to that, Kate has three Half Ironman victories to her credit, as well as multiple finishes at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
“We are very excited to have an athlete with Kate’s credentials doing Ultra520,” said race director Steve Brown in a press release. “I know she has been training hard for the Ultra while keeping with her other training up so she is going to treat us all to a great show of athletic ability. I would say she will be in the top three overall and in with a shot to win this event outright. While the distance may be a little outside of her comfort zone, she is coming with a great support team behind her.”
Day 1 (Aug 1) begins with a 10km swim in Skaha Lake from Penticton to Sovereign Road near Okanagan Falls. After which, athletes complete a 149.8 km bike ride through the South Okanagan, over the Richter Pass, and ending back in Kenyon Park in OK Falls.
Day 2 (Aug 2) continues with competitors cycling a 274.2 KM bike route from Penticton to Osoyoos. They return to OK Falls, then climb “The Wall” to Willowbrook and Twin Lakes on their way to Princeton where they complete an out and back section to Alison Lake to finish at the Princeton Arena.
Day 3 (Aug 3) completes the event with an 84.4 KM run from Princeton to Summerland along the Old Princeton Summerland Road. The athletes finish at Memorial Park in Summerland.
Local residents are invited to witness the end of all stages as follows: Stage 1, Kenyon Park, Okanagan Falls, approximately 2 p.m.; Stage 2, Princeton Arena, approximately 3 p.m., Stage 3 Memorial Park, Summerland approximately 1:30 p.m.
Alternatively, for the first time we will be offering live streaming of selected portions of the event from our website at www.ultra52kcanada.com Shaw Cable have been instrumental in providing the appropriate connections for our technical and have made the streaming possible.
For further information on Ultra520K Canada and this press release visitwww.ultra520kcanada.com or contact Race Director, Steve Brown at (250) 809-1798.