Following Penticton's divorce from Ironman Canada and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), a new location is being sought for the Ironman Canada event and Whistler has been identified as a possible host community.
After a 30-year run for Ironman in Penticton, the Okanagan town announced it had struck a new deal that will see Ironman replaced by Challenge Penticton in August of next year. Steve Meckfessel, the event-licensing director with WTC, confirmed from his home in Tampa, FL that he is looking for a new host community for Ironman Canada next year.
It's premature to discuss which communities have expressed an interest in hosting the event because WTC has issued a request for proposals (RFP), he said, adding that the RFP was sent to tourism agencies in communities in B.C. and Alberta. Interested communities have until Sept. 24 to respond to the RFP.
Meckfessel wouldn't discuss which communities have expressed an interest in hosting the event.
"It is a competitive bid process so we need to remain silent on that until we are in a position to address each of them on an individual basis," he said.
Meckfessel said he has visited Whistler and knows the resort has the hospitality infrastructure to host the event.
"It would make for a compelling location for Ironman Canada," said the WTC spokesperson. "We'd need to hear from Whistler that they're interested in hosting the event and then the next step would be that we would need to do a deeper dive into all the necessary elements and requirements to host an event of this calibre."
Breton Murphy of Tourism Whistler (TW) confirmed that the Whistler Events Working Committee is looking at the opportunity.
"At this early stage, it's premature to discuss details regarding possible next steps," said the TW Director of Partnerships in a statement sent to Pique.
The Whistler Events Working Committee includes representatives from TW, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Sport Legacies, the Whistler Arts Council and the Whistler Chamber of Commerce.
Meanwhile, a number of Sea to Sky athletes participated in the final Ironman in Penticton.
Michael Conway was the quickest Sea to Sky resident. The Whistler athlete did the event in 10 hours and 54 minutes.
Whistler's Bob Deeks followed Conway in a time of 10 hours, 55 minutes and 44 seconds. Maxwell Vacirca of Pemberton clocked 10:56:39.
The other corridor competitors; Tim Moore, David Evans, Stephen Wheeler, Travis Kubin, Edgar Alejandro Mujica and Karen Jacobsen took more than 11 hours to complete the race.