When Challenge debuts in Penticton on Aug. 25, 2013, Ironman Canada will makes its debut in Whistler.
Steve King, the former voice of Subaru Ironman Canada, who will now call the action for Challenge Penticton, said Whistler hosting the event will be a boon for the sport.
“Whistler is an incredible site. You can’t deny that,” said King. “They have a beautiful location. They did an amazing job on the Olympic Games. They have hosted world cups, national championships.”
The Ironman Canada website states the race will start with a two-loop, 2.4-mile swim in Alta Lake at Rainbow Park. 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,” the release said. “After descending back to the highway, athletes pass through Whistler on their way north to Pemberton. An out-and-back section allows athletes breathtakingly beautiful 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.”
Jordan Rapp, a two-time winner of Ironman Canada, wrote in an email he’s glad the event will remain in western Canada. Of the three finalists, he feels Whistler was the best choice.
“There was a lot of work put into Whistler for the 2010 Olympics, so hopefully Ironman can help make use of that and make the investment in infrastructure (expanding Sea-To-Sky) a more profitable decision than is often the case with Olympic upgrades, that rarely — if ever — pay for themselves,” he wrote. “Ultimately, I’m glad there is still an Ironman Canada. Glad it’s not overly close within the Okanagan, and glad it’s still in B.C.” A story published by www.cbc.ca on Oct. 12 reported that Ironman Canada Whistler will be held in July the following four years.