Written by: Dan Empfield
Date: Thu Oct 11 2012
A furious search for a replacement venue had taken place since the city of Penticton jumped ship, and one scenario had races taking place on the same day just tens of miles apart. This would have been the case had Ironman chosen nearby Kelowna as its venue.
Whistler prevailed, however, over those communities interested in hosting the Ironman jewel, and this will make it easier to get to for those not in the immediate area. Penticton has always been a bit of a hike for Ironman competitors, as Penticton is not proximate to any large airport. Whistler is another scenic location for an Ironman event, and it is relatively close to Vancouver's airport.
Athletes will still have to make a decision between this race and Challenge Penticton. Each will take place on August 25th, 2013.
The race will start with a two-loop, 2.4-mile swim in the clean shallow waters of Alta Lake at Rainbow Park, which has an average water temperature of 67 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit in late August. Athletes will enjoy a lakeside transition before starting a one-loop 112-mile bike course that is comparable in difficulty to the bike route at IRONMAN Lake Placid, IRONMAN Coeur d'Alene, and the previous IRONMAN Canada. Athletes will travel south on the Sea-to-Sky Highway before climbing into the Callaghan Valley, site of the Nordic skiing events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. After descending back to the highway, athletes pass through Whistler on their way north to Pemberton. An out-and-back section allows athletes breathtakingly beautiful views of glaciated peaks, while racing on a completely flat section of road. Athletes return to Whistler via the Sea-to-Sky Highway over rolling terrain. The two-loop run course follows the meandering Valley Trail past Lost Lake and Green Lake allowing spectators to reinvigorate athletes with a return through Whistler Village at the halfway point of the run before finishing adjacent to Whistler Olympic Plaza.
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