FES­TI­VAL WEEK­END

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - T1 -

In 2012, the last year that Iron­man Canada took place in Pen­tic­ton, there were 2,500 ath­letes in the race. The city of Pen­tic­ton de­cided not to re­new Iron­man’s li­cence after that year and chose in­stead to bring in a Chal­lenge event, which strug­gled to get any­where near the same num­ber of com­peti­tors over the next five years.

Last year. Pen­tic­ton hosted the in­au­gu­ral ITU Mul­tisport World Cham­pi­onships, host­ing five world ti­tles over an eight-day pe­riod. The event was a re­sound­ing suc­cess, see­ing up­wards of 4,000 ath­letes com­pet­ing in the races that in­cluded duathlon, cross triathlon, aquathlon and long-course triathlon.

That was a one-off event, though. Pen­tic­ton will likely ap­ply to host the Mul­tisport World Cham­pi­onships again, but that won’t come up for a few years. Rather than con­tinue to put on the Chal­lenge event in Pen­tic­ton, race di­rec­tor Michael Brown has cho­sen to take a new tack – this Au­gust he’ll be putting on another in­au­gu­ral race – the first Su­per League Triathlon that will in­clude an age-group com­po­nent.

The three-day race in­cludes an “Equal­izer” triathlon that con­sists of a 20-km time trial on Aug. 17, fol­lowed the fol­low­ing day by a sec­ond stage that in­cludes a 500-m swim, a 2.5-km run, another 500-m swim, a 20-km bike and wrapped up with a 2.5-km run.

The fi­nal day of the com­pe­ti­tion in­cludes an “En­duro” race that in­cludes a reg­u­lar sprint triathlon – 750-m swim/20-km bike/5-km run which is re­peated.

Un­like other Su­per League events that have been for pro­fes­sion­als and a se­lect group of cor­po­rate com­peti­tors, age-group ath­letes will have a chance to try their hand at this unique form of rac­ing. There will be a pro­fes­sional com­po­nent to the week­end, but Pen­tic­ton won’t see the big name ath­letes that com­peted in the first two Su­per League races – this event serves as a qual­i­fy­ing op­por­tu­nity for pros to qual­ify for the Su­per League Triathlon Cham­pi­onship Series.

A ju­nior event is also be­ing of­fered, which will in­clude the same races but will have the ju­nior com­peti­tors do just one round of the En­duro race on the Sun­day. A team com­pe­ti­tion will also be in­cluded in the week­end’s com­pe­ti­tion.

As has al­ways been a tra­di­tion in Pen­tic­ton be­fore the big race week­ends, a Thurs­day fun run will be of­fered to en­cour­age fam­ily par­tic­i­pa­tion, and there will be lots of en­ter­tain­ment on tap through­out the week­end.

En­tries for the unique race in Pen­tic­ton have been en­cour­ag­ing so far, ac­cord­ing to Brown, who says the in­ter­est in this novel for­mat has come from Cana­di­ans and many in­ter­na­tional ath­letes.—tmc

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