Athletes prepare for Ultraman

Elite athletes from around the world will compete in the Ultraman Canada triathlon July 30 to Aug. 1. The three-day event covers 515.4 kilometres in the Okanagan and Smimilkameen regions.

Elite athletes from around the world will compete in the Ultraman Canada triathlon July 30 to Aug. 1.

The three-day event covers 515.4 kilometres in the Okanagan and Smimilkameen regions.

“We have always considered Ultraman an event rather than a race because of the journey the athlete goes through physically, mentally and in some cases spiritually,” said Steve Brown, race director for the event.

The three days involve significant challenges for the participants.

The first day consists of a 10.0-kilometres swim in Skaha Lake from Penticton to Sovereign Road Boat Launch near Okanagan Falls, followed by a 144.8-kilometre bike ride from there, through Oliver and Osoyoos, over Richter Pass and back to Kenyon Park in Okanagan Falls.

On the second day, participants will cycle 276.3 kilometres from Penticton to the Princeton Arena.

On the third day, athletes will run 84.3 kilometres from Princeton to Memorial Park in Summerland.

This year, there are 29 athletes from six countries.

Ed Marbach of Penticton and Vince Denis of Kelowna are the two Okanagan athletes.

Brown said the three-day race is for experienced athletes who want a more demanding challenge than the Ironman triathlon.

Each day has a 12-hour time limit and as a result, Brown said it is achievable for those who can manage an Ironman.

“If you are an average Ironman athlete, you can certainly train yourself to do an Ultraman,” he said.