Triathlon Magazine Canada - - TRAVEL CANADIAN RACE -

The first ever Iron­Soul event is be­ing held in Pen­tic­ton on Au­gust 28.

It is de­scribed as “a long train­ing day with new friends and old friends.” The event is pri­mar­ily tar­geted to­ward ath­letes who al­ready have clos­ets full of Iron­man fin­isher’s t-shirts and draw­ers full of fin­isher’s medals and don’t need ex­ter­nal val­i­da­tion of their ath­letic cre­den­tials. Al­though there will be the usual 3.8-km swim, 180-km bike, and 42-km run, there will be no en­try fees, fin­isher’s medals or Kona slots. Par­tic­i­pants are wel­come to do the whole dis­tance on their own or as a part of a re­lay.

The idea for the Iron­Soul orig­i­nated after the demise of Chal­lenge Pen­tic­ton. Look­ing at the race sched­ule, I re­al­ized 2018 would have been the first time in 35 years the south Okana­gan re­gion hadn’t held a long-dis­tance triathlon dur­ing the last week­end in Au­gust. Iron­Soul looks to fill that void and to keep that tra­di­tion go­ing.

Many in the Cana­dian mul­tisport com­mu­nity en­joy com­pet­ing in a full-dis­tance event at the end of Au­gust be­cause they have the whole sum­mer to train out­doors and get in those crit­i­cal long bike rides and open wa­ter swims. The date was also pop­u­lar as it was a way of cap­ping off the triathlon sea­son and, for many, their sum­mer va­ca­tions. Iron­Soul prom­ises to do both in a laid-back and eco­nom­i­cal man­ner.

The cy­cling por­tion of the Iron­Soul re­traces the route of the orig­i­nal Iron­man Canada bike course and gives par­tic­i­pants an op­por­tu­nity to test them­selves on that sto­ried course for the first time in years. Richter Pass, Yel­low Lake and the epic down­hill back into Pen­tic­ton will all be there to chal­lenge the legs and in­spire mem­o­ries from three decades of rac­ing that saw the likes of Thomas Hell­riegel, Peter Reid, Lisa Bent­ley, Scott Tin­ley and Erin Baker com­pete. Par­tic­i­pants are en­cour­aged to bring their vin­tage triathlon bikes – I look for­ward to see­ing some old-style Zipp, Softride, Light­speed and Kestrel frames.

Al­though the day is of­fi­cially un­sup­ported, I have been ap­proached by many peo­ple of­fer­ing to vol­un­teer. I was wor­ried the long stretch of the run be­tween Skaha Beach and Okana­gan Falls might be dif­fi­cult, es­pe­cially if it was a hot day, but many peo­ple in the triathlon com­mu­nity have com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing aid to Iron­Soul par­tic­i­pants. Don’t be sur­prised if 2015 Chal­lenge Pen­tic­ton Cham­pion Jeff Sy­monds is hand­ing you a cup of F2C Glyco-Du­rance on your way back from Okana­gan Falls.

If you have the ex­pe­ri­ence, at­ti­tude and de­sire to take on the chal­lenge of an Iron­man dis­tance train­ing day at a clas­sic Cana­dian venue, the Iron­Soul event could be a great way to end of your 2018 sea­son. E-mail [email protected]­ for more in­for­ma­tion or to join the list.

Ab­bots­ford, B.C.’s Kevin Heinz is an avid triathlete. He hosts a bi-weekly pod­cast: fit­


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