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2018 Ironman route a work in progress

Organizers hope to have new route finalized by end of the year



With Pemberton Meadows Road out of the picture, organizers of Ironman Canada are floating a revised bike route for the 2018 edition of the event.

The proposed route shared with stakeholders in late September features an earlier start time and shorter closures on Highway 99 north of Whistler.

Under the proposed route — which is still very much under discussion — athletes would go south on Alta Lake Road from Rainbow Park to Highway 99 before travelling north in the far west lane through Whistler.

Athletes would turn around at the base of the Duffey and do a loop through Mount Currie before heading back south.

At Alpine, athletes would take Alta Lake Road back to Highway 99 before heading south to the Callaghan Valley, where they would ride up and back to the highway before continuing south to Brandywine Falls Park.

At Brandywine, athletes would turn around and head back to the finish line in Whistler Village.

Under the proposed route, the race would kick off at 5:30 a.m., with the last athletes completing the bike course at 4:30 p.m. (an hour earlier than in previous years).

In terms of 2018 road closures, Ironman is requesting: Highway 99 northbound from Alpine Way to the base of the Duffey (6:15 to 10:30 a.m.); Highway 99 southbound from Duffey to Alpine Way (7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.); Highway 99 northbound from Brandywine Falls to Alta Lake Road (12:30 to 3:30 p.m.); Highway 99 southbound from Alta Lake Road to Brandywine Falls (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.); Alta Lake Road southbound (4 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.); Alta Lake Road northbound (6 to 9 a.m.); and Xit'Olaow Road in Mount Currie southbound and northbound (7 a.m. to 12 p.m.).

The new route is necessary after both the Village of Pemberton and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) opted not to support the event as is earlier this year, citing safety concerns on Pemberton Meadows Road and the detrimental impact of closing the highway.

The SLRD board will not be commenting on the proposed route until the Lil'wat Nation has made a decision on its own position, said SLRD chair Jack Crompton. (The Lil'wat Nation did not respond to a request for comment before Pique's deadline.)

In fact, none of the affected local governments were ready to comment just yet, other than to say that Ironman is still in the process of developing the 2018 route and nothing has been finalized.

In an email, Ironman's senior regional director Keats McGonigal said he would be able to comment once the route is finalized — hopefully by the end of the year — and that Ironman continues to work with local officials on the details of the bike course.


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