After news that the Village of Pemberton would not support the renewal of Ironman Canada, Ironman issued a press release today stating that the iconic Canadian full distance event — and the accompanying 70.3 race — has a new contract that will carry it through to 2020:
“As we celebrate the 35th edition of Ironman in Canada, we are thrilled to continue this defining and incredibly scenic race in the series of global events,” said Shane Facteau, Chief Operating Officer for Ironman. “We have had a great partnership with the community of Whistler since 2013 and look to further that as we promote the whole region with these events. Our athletes truly enjoy accomplishing their dreams in British Columbia and can expect world class experiences with this amazing destination for years to come.”
In 2012, Whistler won the right to host Subaru Ironman Canada for five years (2013–2017) and added Subaru Ironman 70.3 Canada in 2016. This year, both events will take place on Sunday, July 30.
“We are proud to welcome dedicated Ironman athletes, along with their coaches, families and support teams for both training and competition,” said Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Mayor of Whistler. “Hosting the Subaru Ironman Canada events in Whistler has generated approximately $42 million in economic activity over the past four years. Looking ahead, even though Whistler’s economy is currently thriving, the Subaru Ironman events help us to ensure our economic resiliency in the future. The Subaru Ironman Canada events also fit with our sport culture and build on our reputation as a world class destination for events.”
Approximately 2,900 athletes from 33 countries are registered for the 2017 events and approximately 10,000 spectators are expected to attend the races. A dedicated team of over 2,000 volunteers helps to make the event successful. The Ironman Foundation has provided over $200,000 to in charitable giveback to charities and not-for-profit organizations in Squamish, Whistler, and Pemberton.
“On behalf of Tourism Whistler, we welcome the Subaru Ironman Canada event back to the region,” said Karen Goodwin, Tourism Whistler’s Vice President of Destination & Market Development. “We look forward to working together with Tourism Whistler members, the RMOW, Ironman and the communities of Whistler and Pemberton to ensure the continued success of Subaru Ironman Canada,” she said. “As we move forward over the next three years, collaboration will be especially important to ensure the Subaru Ironman Canada event continues to improve and flourish.”
The logistics for hosting one of the world’s great events are complicated and Ironman, the RMOW, and Tourism Whistler are working with event stakeholders to address concerns and improve the event each year. As such, the route for the cycling component during 2018-2020 is still under discussion.
Support for hosting the events for an additional three years was provided by several Whistler stakeholders including Tourism Whistler, the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, Hotel Association of Whistler and Restaurant Association of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, and Whistler Sport Legacies. In addition, a business engagement meeting and community information session were held this spring.
This year’s Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon takes place on July 30, 2017. The race consists of a 2.4-mile swim in Alta Lake, a 112-mile bicycle ride on the Sea-to-Sky Highway to the Callaghan Valley and Pemberton, and a full marathon through a two-loop run course that follows the meandering Valley Trail past Lost Lake and Green Lake in Whistler. The race ends with an electric finish line in Whistler’s Olympic Plaza.