Traffic delays and road closures as Ironman Canada athletes take over Whistler
While the Subaru Ironman Canada race brings 3,000 endurance athletes to the Whistler area, it also brings a bevy of road closures.
In an effort to keep the race course and its participants safe, travellers are advised to expect delays and closures on Highway 99 between Whistler and Pemberton from 7 a.m. until about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Additional closures will also be imposed on Callaghan Valley Road and Pemberton Meadows Road during the race.
Whistler and the Village of Pemberton will also have local road closures in place during the event.
Here are the scheduled road closures:
Highway 99 (Sea to Sky)/Vancouver to Whistler northbound:
- Highway 99 northbound open all day to Alpine Way, four kilometres north of Whistler Village.
- No left turns permitted off Highway 99 between Callaghan Valley Road and Alpine Way from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Expect minor delays on Highway 99 northbound.
Whistler to Pemberton northbound:
- Highway 99 northbound closed from Alpine Way, four kilometres north of Whistler Village, to Pemberton between 8:45 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Whistler to Vancouver southbound:
- Highway 99 southbound closed from Alpine Way, four kilometres north of Whistler Village, to Callaghan Valley Road between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Pemberton to Whistler southbound:
- Highway 99 southbound closed from Portage Road in Pemberton to Alpine Way, four kilometres north of Whistler Village, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Highway 99 southbound closed between Alpine Way and Village Gate Boulevard 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Use detour routes after 1 p.m.
- Callaghan Valley Road to Whistler Olympic Park closed from 7 a.m. to noon.
- Pemberton Meadows Road northbound closed from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pemberton Meadows Road southbound closed from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Although the race brings thousands of participants and spectators to Whistler, not all local-area residents feel the benefits of Ironman Canada.
The Village of Pemberton conducted a survey in June that asked residents how they felt about the triathlon. Seventy-six per cent said the Ironman Canada event does not provide benefits to the community and less than half said they still wouldn’t support the event even if Ironman provided a small benefit, legacy or donation.
Grimm’s Gourmet & Deli is one of several Pemberton businesses that closes its doors on race day.
“They’re a billion-dollar corporation,” Mark Mendonca of Grimm’s Deli said. “We’re just this little, tiny company trying to make it work. The real people that are being hurt are the employees.”
This is the fifth and last year under its current contract with the Whistler Organizing Committee. Organizers said they’re currently in discussions to possibly continue the race.
~ with files from Jon Azpiri