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Challenge Penticton given a line of credit to cover losses

Challenge Pentiction Finisher

Last week we shared on Facebook that the Penticton Western News revealed that the City of Penticton is on the hook for Challenge Penticton losses. They’ve now confirmed that the City of Penticton co-signed a line of credit for up to $200 000 to cover the losses incurred by the Penticton Triathlon Race Society in staging the inaugural Challenge Penticton event.

The race, won by Carrie Lester and hometown hero Jeff Symonds, was well received by the athletes who participated, but it was the reduced participation numbers and the Challenge Family full refund policy that contributed to the speculated financial loss.

“That will never happen again. That was one time only and it was $135 000, a huge hit,” said Penticton Mayor Garry Litke to the Penticton Western News. “The athletes themselves were astounded by that. That came from the Challenge Family as a condition so this board had to swallow that. Not happily, that’s for sure.”

“There are bills coming in and there is not enough registrations coming in to pay the bills,” said Litke. “That’s not unusual, and because there are cash flow problems and the society needs to have some money to operate. They came to the city and the city has offered a line of credit of up to $200 000.”

The city and the Penticton Triathlon Race Society fully expect to bring the race back to its former glory days as Ironman Canada, but anticipate it will take at least three years to do so.

A big hurdle this year was the fact that the new Ironman Canada in Whistler took place on the same day. For 2013, Challenge Penticton takes place on Sunday August 24, while Ironman Canada moves to Sunday July 27.

It is not all doom and gloom for the Challenge Family. After it was announced that there would be a new Ironman 70.3 Kraichgau to replace Challenge Kraichgau in 2014, the Challenge Family announced that Challenge Kraichgau would return in 2015 under Challenge Family control after the mayors of the eight German municipalities connected to the race voted to partner with the Challenge Family heading forward.