A runner cools off after completing a previous Penticton Ironman. (Western News file photo)

IRONMAN Canada to return to Penticton in 2020

Race director noted the city is a “benchmark for the industry”, wants to build off legacy

“This is where Ironman Canada was 35 years ago now. It was raised here, it went to school here, maybe even graduated from Pen High.”

That’s how Dave Christen, regional director of Ironman for Northwestern U.S. and Western Canada, described the city’s relationship with the triathlon competition that stopped taking place here about six years ago. City staff have been in talks with Ironman Canada officials for the past six months about seeing the event return to Penticton, a decision backed by city council at the meeting on May 7 when they directed staff to negotiate a five-year contract with the organization to see its return in 2020.

“Penticton has a very unique placeholder in Ironman history, as one of the longest-standing triathlon communities in the world. There are very few people and communities in the world that can say they’ve participated in this sport as long as Penticton has,” said Christen during the committee of the whole.

Christen outlined how the organization has changed since leaving Penticton, noting that it has expanded and is “more into the running space.” He also provided data to staff and council about typical crowd expectations when hosting an Ironman series, stating globally Ironman hosts 41 races with 100,000 registrants and 2.5 million spectators and a digital reach of 132 million.

“Are we going to be able to enhance the memory of Ironman (in our community)?” asked Coun. Judy Sentes, stating that Penticton is known globally for the triathlon competition and that she’d like to build off of that reputation, not replace it. “That memory included the welcome dinner, the awards dinner … the parade, the give-back to the community, the aid stations. All those things form a memory that is Ironman. And all things change, they have to, but I am afraid that memory may not continue with the new format.”

“That has been the number one priorities of our conversations with city staff, how do we respect and honour legacy but still innovate? How do we still create a new story while remembering the history of this event,” said Christen. “Penticton was, and is, what we often reference as the benchmark of our industry in our internal conversations as a company. We often look back at what was set as a precedent, here. Its traditions, the energy that was built, it was something we try to emulate everywhere else.”

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

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

RDOS board remuneration, expenses come to $500,000

Costs presented in Statement of Financial Information

Summerland Ornamental Gardens holds fall plant sale

Event will be held Saturday, Sept. 21

Reason to Smile: Tim Hortons cookie campaign benefits school breakfast program

The smile cookie campaign runs Sept. 13 - 22 at participating Tim Hortons from Summerland to Osoyoos

LocoLanding flowers brighten seniors’ day in Penticton

The many flowers that bloom in LocoLanding during the summer brighten the day for seniors

‘It’s almost surreal’: Penticton fire chief, sidekick Sammy recap rescue mission in Bahamas

Chief Larry Watkinson and Sam the disaster dog spent 8 days assisting a search and rescue team

Shuswap elementary school shocked, saddened by death of teacher

Well-loved Grade 4 teacher in Salmon Arm passed away suddenly over weekend

Okanagan city on track to battle climate change

Climate Action Advisory Committee urges action is needed

Vaping-related illness confirmed in Ontario believed to be first in Canada

Middlesex-London Health Unit had no further details about the case — believed to be the first confirmed in Canada

Canadian stars Virtue, Moir say in video they’re ‘stepping away’ from ice dancing

The pair thank fans for their support in an emotional message

Kamloops high school evacuated after receiving threat

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Woman held at gunpoint during carjacking in UBC parkade

University RCMP say the vehicle is still missing, and two suspects are at large

Morning start: Did you know Mary never actually had a little lamb?

Your morning start: Fun fact, weather, and video of the day

VIDEO: Angry B.C. cyclist starts shaming dangerous drivers online

‘You motorists deserve all your costs and misery’

Most Read