The World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) announced Thursday afternoon (Oct. 11) that Whistler has been selected as the host community of an Ironman triathlon event for 2013.
"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, in a press release announcing the decision. "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."
Whistler was one of three Canadian communities being considered to host the event, beating out Kelowna and Huntsville, Ont. Whistler's bid was submitted to the WTC, which owns the Ironman brand, in partnership between the municipality and Tourism Whistler.
"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 Tourism Whistler's Breton Murphy.
The press release also revealed some details about the race course. The event will start with a two-loop swim of Alta Lake totalling 3.86 kilometres. The 180-km biking leg will go south to the Callaghan Valley and Whistler Olympic Park, then turn back north, bypassing Whistler and stretching up to Pemberton before returning to the resort. The 42-km run will feature two loops of a course set on the Valley Trail, with the finish line planned for near Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Whistler's bid was to host the event for a five-year period, but the press release did not indicate if the resort will be the site of Ironman Canada beyond 2013.
Next year's event is scheduled for Aug. 25, with registration set to open next Thursday (Oct. 18) at www.ironmancanada.ca. Stay tuned for more details.