Ironman Canada does not release the total number of spots available for the 2013 race in Whistler, but Ironman Race Director Keats McGonigal said on Tuesday, Oct. 30 that only a few hundred spots remain, and that they expect a field of 2,000 to 2,500 athletes at the start line at Rainbow Park on Aug. 25, 2013.
"It's going pretty well with only a couple of hundred spots left, and we expect those to fill up in the next little while," said McGonigal.
In recent weeks, McGonigal and other race planners have been meeting with the Resort Municipality of Whistler and other stakeholders like the Ministry of Transportation to plan the event, which includes a 3.8km swim course, an 180km bike course and full-length 42.2km marathon. McGonigal said there's still a lot of work to do putting together an operational plan, but he's pleased with the progress they've made so far.
"Everything has been really, really positive, the municipality has been very accommodating and Bob Andrea (Manager of Village Animation) and his crew have been working hard to get some of the logistical pieces figured out with us," said McGonigal. "We're still in conversations with the Ministry of Transportation on the exact traffic control plans and things like that, but so far things are moving along and progressing as we would anticipate."
Ironman planners will be back in Whistler in December to continue discussions with stakeholders, and will be announcing details to racers and the public as early as they can.
Trainers hosting Ironman programs
One of the side effects of hosting an Ironman is that you get more local interest in doing the event, as well as more athletes coming to the community to pre-race sections of the course and orient themselves.
The result is more demand for personal training. Christine Suter of C2Sky Multisport has worked with a few local athletes every year to prepare them for Ironman Canada, drawing on her own eight Ironman finishes as well as her experiences as a coach.
She's already signed on a few athletes for the 2013 race, but expects her numbers to grow a lot for the 2014 edition. "It's a big decision to race, but I think a lot of people are going to watch the race and go 'wow, I want to do that.' Watching the race is going to inspire them," she said.
As well as working one-on-one with athletes, she's also planning to host additional camps and clinics in the lead-up to the event. She anticipates that a lot of interest will be coming from outside the community as racers visit Whistler to train for the event.
"I'll definitely host a few training camps leading up the race in June and July, because June's probably the earliest you can get into the lakes with a wetsuit and neoprene swim cap," she said.