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A decade in the making: Countdown begins for Ironman Canada’s return to Penticton

The city hasn’t hosted the event since 2012
Pro Matthew Russell of the United States hoists the banner as the winner of the final year (2012) Ironman Canada was held in Penticton. (Western News file photo)

Ironman Canada’s return to Penticton is less than three weeks away and the city is gearing up to welcome thousands of athletes and supporters for the one-day extraordinaire.

It’s been 10 years since Penticton last hosted the prestigious triathlon, an event that was first held in Peach City in 1983.

On Aug. 28, though, the city will once again get an opportunity to live up to its tagline of being the endurance sports capital of B.C.

“Athletes love coming here because we are known for lining the streets and cheering them on along the route,” said mayor John Vassilaki. “We also have such a supportive community of volunteers, who play a huge role in the success of this event.”

As part of its preparations, the city will distribute information to residents about road closures, as well as how to get involved and enjoy the entertainment.

“It has been 10 years since we have hosted Ironman Canada, so we can’t wait to show off our community spirit once again,” Vassilaki added.

The city warns that road closures during the event will cause “significant delays” on Skaha Lake Road and Main Street, with drivers encouraged to use the Channel Parkways wherever possible.

Residents can expect to receive mail regarding important information about the event in the coming days. The city’s booth at the Penticton Farmers’ Market on Aug. 20 and 27 will also make free fan kits available for those interested.

“Penticton is recognized as the endurance sports capital of B.C. and a bucket list destination for many Ironman athletes,” said Kelsey Johnson, the city’s manager of recreation, arts and culture. “Let’s give them a warm welcome and keep them coming back year after year.”

The race will feature a 3.8-kilometre swim in Okanagan Lake, a 180-kilometre bike ride through Osoyoos and Keremeos, as well as a 42.2-kilometre run along Lakeshore Drive in downtown Penticton.

An additional $4,000 will also be on the line thanks to a city-led mural contest, with the winning piece set to be displayed on the west wall of the building at 185 Lakeshore Drive during the race.

READ ALSO: Penticton Ironman mural contest puts $4K on the line


About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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