World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) has unveiled Whistler, British Columbia as the new venue of the Ironman Canada triathlon. Ironman Canada in Whistler builds on the legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympics, while offering athletes a beautiful, challenging experience in a world-class venue.
The event is scheduled for Sunday 25 August 2013. Following the cancellation of Ironman Canada in Penticton, and transfer to Whistler, this will be the 31st running of the Ironman Canada event.
“Whistler is recognized worldwide as a sought-after travel and outdoor recreation destination. As the new host community of Ironman Canada, Whistler will immediately earn a reputation as a triathlon destination,” said Steve Meckfessel, Managing Director of Global Race Operations for WTC.
“With its accessibility to major west coast markets, stunning beauty and tourism infrastructure, Whistler will resonate with our athletes, their families and fans of Ironman.”
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.
“We are absolutely thrilled, and honoured, that Whistler has been chosen from among some of the country’s most spectacular destinations to host Ironman Canada,” said Breton Murphy, Tourism Whistler’s Director of Partnerships and lead for the Whistler Organizing Committee, which responded to the request for proposals by WTC.
“Whistler is a world-class, all-season resort with a global reputation for producing and hosting international events of the highest calibre,” said Murphy. “Ironman Canada is a natural fit for our resort – and being selected as its new home speaks to Whistler’s ability to deliver an exceptional experience for both athletes and spectators.”
“Whistler is an outdoor sport Mecca,” Murphy added. “Ironman Canada competitors and enthusiasts will marvel at our spectacular mountain ranges, pristine lakes and extensive network of cycling, running and walking trails.”
Ironman Canada will be a P-2000 race with a US$75,000 professional prize purse. Additionally, the race will offer 100 age group slots to the 2013 Ironman World Championship taking place on 12 October 2013.
Registration for Ironman Canada 2013 will open on Thursday 18 October at Noon PT.