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2017 ITU Multisport World Championships: Jeff Symond’s Tips


Jeff Symonds at Challenge Penticton 2013
Jeff Symonds at Challenge Penticton 2013

When I first heard the news that Michael Brown (of Great White North triathlon and Challenge Penticton) was bringing the first ever ITU Multisport World Championship Festival to Canada, I was stoked. Then I heard that it was going to be in my hometown, Penticton, and I just about lost it. When else are you going to have the opportunity to compete in a world freaking championship in your own country, specifically Canada? We may be nice, but there never seem to be any world championship sporting events held here.

For those of you who have had the pleasure of racing in Penticton, you know that it is the best place to host a triathlon. In between two lakes north and south, mountains east and west and wineries all around, there’s something for everyone. Except in the winter. You’ve really got to be into skiing if you’re going to stick around there.

Since this event is a world championship, it is a qualifying event. And to qualify, you’ve got to do so in 2016. I’m breaking down what the ITU Multisport World Championship festival is all about and how Canadians can qualify.

What is it?

The ITU has decided to combine all of its world championship events into one large, awesome festival. Normally these events would be spread throughout the world at different times. Now, they’ve decided to make a 10-day festival holding five events. Besides racing, there will be plenty of other activities going on for families and friends – parties, a parade of nations, farewell fireworks, markets… the list goes on.

The events

The five World Championship (WC) events are:

1. Sprint Duathlon WC (5km run, 20km bike, 2.5km run)

2. Standard Duathlon WC (10km run, 40km bike, 5km run)

3. Cross Triathlon WC (1km swim, 30km off road mountain bike, 8km trail run)

4. Aquathlon WC (1km swim, 5km run)

5. Long course WC (3km swim, 120km bike, 30km run)

How to qualify

Canadian triathletes won’t want to miss this event. Here’s how to qualify:

Race 1: Milton ON – Xterra Mine over Matter – June 25 – five cross triathlon qualifying spots

Race 2: Edmonton AB – Great White North Triathlon – July 3 – five long distance triathlon qualifying spots and five standard duathlon qualifying spots

Race 3: St Andrews NB – Challenge St. Andrews – July 10th – five long distance triathlon qualifying spots

Race 4: Victoria BC – Xterra Victoria – July 10th – five cross triathlon qualifying spots

Race 5: Penticton BC – Challenge Penticton 2016 Canadian National Multisport Championships – August 23th – 28th – 10 qualifying spots for each of: long distance, cross tri, standard duathlon and aquathlon

Race 6: Edmonton AB – Edmonton Triathlon 2016 Canadian Sprint Duathlon Championships – September 3rd – 4th – 25 sprint duathlon qualifying spots

Race 7: Montreal QC – Esprit Triathlon – September 10th-11th – five long distance qualifying spots, five standard duathlon qualifying spots

Note: The number of qualifying spots is per age group. Elite/professional athletes can automatically qualify by earning top three at Challenge Penticton (Canadian national championships).

Prize Money

There is some serious cash up for grabs at each of the 2017 events. There is $90,000 USD (at the rate we are going, that’s close to one million CAD) on the line for the long course triathlon and $110,000 USD spread among the remaining 4 events.

Still have questions?

Visit the website and like their Facebook page for updates and more information.

Final note

If you are on the fence about whether or not you should try to qualify, I strongly, strongly encourage you to do. You just never know what might happen! This is going to be a historic event for Canadian triathlon and I am certain that you won’t regret being a part of it.