There was a massive turnout of fans and volunteers to make the return of Ironman Penticton a big success where 1,500 triathletes took part in the 226-kilometre swim, bike and run on Sunday, Aug. 28.
Penticton’s own Jeff Symonds gave his hometown a storybook ending by crossing the finish line first with a time of 8:38:03.
In the age group race, it was Cory Mayfield (Pasadena, Calif.) finished in with a time of 8:59:15 and Jessica Cullen (Waterloo, Ont.) took victories coming in at 10:08:05.
Ironman athletes were cheered on along Lakeshore Drive all the way until midnight on Sunday when racers were still coming through. Find the official results at ironman.com/im-canada-results.
Thousands lined the course in various areas including Naramata and parts of Penticton like Main Street to Lakeshore Drive, holding signs, ringing cowbells and wearing bright colours. One man stood at Lakeshore for hours cheering on each athlete as they passed through.
Prior to the race, chalk art covered Lakeshore encouraging athletes to the finish line.
At the finish line, Symonds told the crowd that being the overall first-place finisher in the city he grew up in is a dream come true.
“This is where my heart is – there are so many people here that have helped me along in my journey and helped me through the hard times. I wanted them to be a part of it,” Symonds said at the finish line. “Let’s hear it for Penticton.”
The 2022 Ironman Canada didn’t have a pro category or prize money but Symonds is hoping next year’s race will.
He’s heard that athletes were very impressed with the course and how Penticton supports the race.
This is the first time since 2012 that Penticton has hosted Ironman.
Rotary Park was transformed into Ironman Village, Okanagan Lake Park hosted the bike station as Lakeshore Drive held up the fan stands and iconic finish line. Saturday’s Kids Ironman saw over 40o kids participate and come through the iconic finish line.
The 3.8 kilometres swim took them to the SS Sicamous and back and at a fast pace they were out of their wet suits and onto the bikes for the challenging 180 kilometres bike, a one-loop course that climbs up Richter Pass and Yellow Lake before heading downhill to White Lake Rd. and back to Penticton.
This year featured a new run course along the KVR Trail in Naramata.
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