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Ironman Canada race moving from Penticton to Ottawa

Click to play video: 'Ironman Canada to move on from the Okanagan'
Ironman Canada to move on from the Okanagan
A major sporting event is on the move once again, announcing it will not return to the South Okanagan after this year. This follows several tough years for the organization and low enrollment numbers. Taya Fast has more – Jul 10, 2024

Ironman Canada is on the move. Again.

On Tuesday, the company that runs the iconic triathlon announced that it will be moving the annual event from Penticton to Ottawa.

The move will take place after the South Okanagan community hosts what could be its last Ironman triathlon on Aug. 25.

Could be, because this isn’t the first time Ironman Canada has moved to a more populous location.

Click to play video: 'Ironman returns to Penticton after 10-year pause'
Ironman returns to Penticton after 10-year pause

Although Penticton hosted the first Ironman Canada event in 1983, the race was moved to Whistler in 2013 after the city and organizers couldn’t come to terms.

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However, after seven years on the South Coast, it trekked inland again to the South Okanagan in 2020, though COVID derailed the actual return date to 2022.

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Now the race is moving east to the nation’s capital.

“We are grateful for the wonderful partners that we have in Penticton for hosting and helping to build the legacy of Ironman Canada triathlon into one of our longest-running and most popular events,” said Keats McGonigal, senior vice-president and managing director of North America for The Ironman Group.

“With over 30 years of history, all who have participated in one of the iconic Ironman Canada triathlons, either in Penticton or Whistler, can attest to what an amazing experience this captivating event has offered since it was first introduced in 1983.

“We cherish the memories that have been created and look forward to building on those with our athletes and amazing community of volunteers in Penticton this August as we celebrate the important role the city and its people have played in Ironman history.”

Click to play video: 'Local athlete wins Ironman Canada in Penticton'
Local athlete wins Ironman Canada in Penticton

From the city’s viewpoint, the news was disappointing.

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“While the decision of Ironman Canada to cancel its contract is disappointing, we will make sure the dedicated athletes and support teams enjoy the full Penticton experience this August,” said Mayor Julius Bloomfield.

“What makes our community a destination for major events is not only our unique geography but the people who rally to provide an unmatched atmosphere. The Penticton spirit has made this event and many others memorable over the years. We know Ironman has retrenched and cancelled other events globally over the past several years, so the decision is a reflection on the challenges they face and not on Penticton’s ability to stage successful events.”

In April, Ironman Canada organizers announced that Ottawa would be joining the tour.

As for what’s ahead for Penticton, Bloomfield says city officials will be looking to secure a new race.

“We have seen the addition of the Adventure Racing World Championship for next year and the 50th-anniversary edition of B.C. Summer Games to our event lineup,” said Bloomfield, “and I’m confident more exciting events will populate the summer and fall calendar in Penticton.”

Click to play video: 'This is BC: Seven continents, seven Ironmans'
This is BC: Seven continents, seven Ironmans

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