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‘Time to say goodbye’: Ironman race leaves Penticton, moves to Ottawa

‘Time to say goodbye’: Ironman race leaves Penticton, moves to Ottawa
‘Time to say goodbye’: Ironman race leaves Penticton, moves to Ottawa

Ironman Canada says goodbye to Penticton.

The South Okanagan city will host the iconic triathlon for the final time in August, as organizers prepare to move the race to Ottawa in 2025.

“It was an incredible race and we are so grateful for the amazing community of athletes and volunteers who played such an important role in this piece of Ironman history,” event organizers said in a July 9 announcement.

Penticton was the first city in Canada to host the competition, in 1983. The event would grow into a local summer tradition and was held in the city every year until 2012.

Mayor Julius Bloomfield called Tuesday’s announcement “disappointing” but said he looks forward to welcoming the thousands of athletes and visitors to the Peach City for the final time in August.

“What makes our community a destination for major events is not just our unique geography, but the people who dedicate themselves to creating an unparalleled atmosphere,” Bloomfield said. “The Penticton spirit has made this event and many others over the years unforgettable.

“We know that Ironman has been canceling and postponing other events around the world in recent years, so this decision is a reflection of the challenges they face and not Penticton’s ability to host successful events.”

After the event stopped coming to the city in 2012, Penticton and Ironman Canada entered into a five-year agreement in 2019.

However, due to the ongoing pandemic, this would not take place until 2022.

Raging wildfires again forced the cancellation of the race in 2023.

Ironman Canada will now hold the final edition of the summer triathlon in Penticton on August 25, 2024, before the event moves to Ontario.

“All athletes know there is a time to say goodbye and seek new challenges,” Bloomfield said, adding that the city is now looking forward to hosting the World Adventure Race in 2025 and the BC Summer Games in 2028.

“We will honor the legacy of the athletes and volunteers who have made this an iconic event since the first event in 1983 and begin writing a new chapter in our city’s proud sporting history.”