Valley First Challenge Penticton is hosting an open house on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Ramada Inn to share its plans for the 2015 event.
All interested parties are welcome to attend. Food and drinks will be served. Videos and speeches from new race directors Michael Brown and Kevin Cutjar, including details of the new run course along the River Channel, will be shown and discussed.
Brown and Cutjar will be joined by two-time race champion and local Jeff Symonds, who will speak about his win in Melbourne.
In addition, a Challenge Half registration (race is half the distance of the full triathlon) will be auctioned in support of Feed the Valley — an initiative by Valley First to tackle hunger in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. There will also be door prizes and giveaways.
“One of the major reasons this event has been successful for so long is because of the support we receive from the community around us,” said Challenge Penticton race director Kevin Cutjar in a press release. “It’s important we connect with local residents to share our plans for this race, because without their support the event wouldn’t be a success year after year and have such a positive impact on the city and surrounding region.”
“It is exciting to see the new ownership innovating and adapting to re-brand and return the race to being Penticton’s premiere signature event,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit. “I am also excited to hear from hometown hero Jeff Symonds on his experiences and what makes the Penticton course so special.”
Since taking over ownership of the triathlon from the city in August, the new race directors have announced a series of changes designed to strengthen and grow the multi-sport festival.
Among them are a new, spectator-friendly run course; finish line stadium and expo compound; and a new Energy Zone for fans and spectators. The initiatives are all designed to make the event more exciting and open it up to residents and visitors.
In the 33 years that Penticton has hosted Ironman and now Valley First Challenge Penticton, tens of thousands of athletes have crossed the finish line since 1983. The week-long family festival culminates in the running of a triathlon featuring a 3.8 kilometre swim, 180 km bike and 42.2 km marathon run, and also features a half distance triathlon, and relays over both distances.
The course through the South Okanagan is challenging due to hill climbs, strong winds and high heat.
The event attracts more than one thousand participants and thousands of spectators, and has a year-round effect on the economy as athletes visit the region to train in the weeks and months leading up to the race.
Valley First Challenge Penticton is part of the Challenge Family series of events, which is known for providing superior athlete experiences and memorable events.