Penticton earns the 2017 ITU Multisport World Championship Festival
The City of Penticton has been awarded the inaugural International Triathlon Union (ITU) Multisport World Championship Festival for 2017, comprised of a massive 10-day celebration that will see athletes from across the world vying for four different multisport titles.
The festival will include the premiere event, the Long Course Triathlon World Championships, as well as the World Cross Triathlon (Off-road), World Duathlon (Run-bike-run) and the World Aquathlon (Swim-run) Championships.
Challenge Penticton co-race directors, Kevin Cutjar and Michael Brown, with support from the City of Penticton, Triathlon Canada and TRIBC, submitted the winning bid. Cutjar says the festival will attract the best athletes from around the world. “Athletes will need to qualify for their specific race in their respective home countries, and as a result each championship will feature the world’s best age group competitors.”
Cutjar explains that in the past and through 2016 these world championship races have been held in separate venues across the world. This 2017 inaugural multisport festival format, featuring four world title competitions in Penticton, will make travel and logistics much easier and also allow athletes the possibility of taking on more than one world championship event.
Penticton, recently voted one of the 10 best places in the world to visit in a survey by the Huffington Post, boasts an impressive triathlon history, as it was the first city outside of Kona to host a full distance triathlon back in 1983. The British Columbia city is also the birthplace of Triathlon Canada, as ITU’S founding president Les Mcdonald drafted the National Federation’s blueprint in 1984 with a group of local triathlon enthusiasts.
Co-race director, Michael Brown, adds “We are extremely excited for the opportunity the ITU has given us and the community of Penticton. We believe the city is the perfect location to launch this new initiative by the ITU, as Penticton has a proven track record and we are ready to welcome the world.”
Proposed plans will see all four competitions start and finish in the heart of the city. The spectator-friendly courses will feature a variety of terrain for those athletes competing in more than one world championship event. The races will also include some of the area’s many vistas, wineries and landmarks, as well the downtown area.
ITU president, and International Olympic Committee member, Marisol Casado, said, “The Multisport Festival is a truly innovative idea that provides multisport athletes with the opportunity to compete in multiple world championship races.”
Currently, the proposed race date will be August 2017 with qualifying events taking place throughout 2016.–