Athletes line up in Rotary Park to be among the first to sign up for Subaru Ironman Canada’s 2020 Penticton return. The event’s registration sold out within 24 hours of being open to the public. (Robin Grant - Western News)

Less than 24 hours to sell out Penticton Subaru Ironman Canada 2020

Volunteers for the 2020 event will be given early registration access to Subaru Ironman Canada 2021

In less than 24 hours since it opened, the general registration for Subaru Ironman Canada 2020 in Penticton has sold out.

The event is returning to the city on Aug. 30, 2020, after what will be an eight-year absence. According to Dave Christen, regional director of Ironman for Northwestern U.S. and Western Canada, this seemingly-record sellout is typical of past Ironman event registrations.

READ MORE: Ironman returns to Penticton after seven-year absence

“We didn’t even make it to 24 hours since we opened up the registration. We don’t share the numbers of registrants, but of the field there’ll be less than 100 professional athletes competing, which is not even close to the number competing in the amateur field,” said Christen. “This event has historically sold out fairly quickly, and even though its been seven years since the event, when the doors for registration opened, it’s almost as if nothing has ever changed. People were clamboring in line basically to get into the event.”

The only form of registration now open for next year’s race is for those looking to participate through the Ironman Foundation in a fundraising effort. Christen said the organization will begin recruiting volunteers for the race in the next 60 days, and said that while those that volunteer can’t compete in 2020, their participation will give them early registration access for Subaru Ironman Canada 2021.

The Ironman Foundation community fund entry supports the community behind the course by fuelling grant funding opportunities for various athletic, community, education, health, human services and public benefit organizations within Ironman race communities, states the organization’s website. Out of the purchase price of $1,400, $685 is a donation directed to the Ironman Foundation community fund to benefit nonprofit initiatives within Ironman race communities. Or athletes can join Team IMF and commit to fundraise for the Ironman Foundation for $50, which includes custom race gear, a personal fundraising website, fundraising and team support every step of the way and exclusive perks during race week.

After Ironman and the City of Penticton parted ways in 2012, the city hosted a number of other triathlon events including the Penticton Challenge and the ITU World Championship, which both drew thousands of athletes to the area. In 2018, MB Events organized the first Super League Triathlon to take place in the city on Aug. 17 to 19, but the races were cancelled on its second day due to air quality conditions caused by wildfires in the area.

READ MORE: Super League Triathlon in Penticton cancelled

Shortly before it was officially announced last week that Ironman Canada was moving back to Penticton after operating out of Whistler, Michael Brown of MB Events approached the city about cancelling the Super League Triathlon scheduled for Aug. 23 to 25, 2019.

“This was the last year of their (organizers MB Events) contract and they would have had to re-negotiate and I don’t think they saw it in their favour as the participants kept dropping year after year and it just wasn’t economically feasible for them to continue,” said Mayor John Vassilaki in an earlier interview with Western News. “But it doesn’t mean they can’t come back in the future and come up with something different, but again it will be up to them as to what they want to do.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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