Challenge Penticton

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a very long time.  I can remember showing up in Penticton last year and hearing some things about Ironman losing its position in the city.  I went for a swim on the Friday and some weird little press conference was getting set up.  By the weekend the cat was out of the bag and I would say hundreds of people were pretty disappointed that they were not signing up for “ironman.”  Some even not even signing up after traveling to the city. For me I didn’t care too much, after 3 years in a row of doing the race I decided to move on.

Tools for the weekend.

Tools for the weekend.

The time of year was a major reason why I moved on but I also had a few beefs with the organizers of Ironman Canada.  Each year from 2010, it seemed have a few problems.  From running out of water, to cheap plastic medals 2012. In 2011 I signed up for Ironman Canada in Penticton at the same time I picked up my gear bags for the race.  With about 3 and a half months til the race in 2012 I decided that I would check and see the race list.  What I noticed was that my name wasn’t on it.  After finally getting a hold of someone about this, they simply said they couldn’t do anything about it.  They said if you didn’t have it taken off your mastercard, then you didn’t sign up.  My girlfriend was right there when I did it and clearly they screw up.  Of course the race was sold out, so just signing up wasn’t an option.  Going into June I had a chance to get into the race, by coming top 3 in my age group in Oliver.  I had a good race and was able to grab a spot.  After racing IMC I also came third.  This of course part my fault for not going, but after the race I didn’t receive anything for my 3rd place finish .  I’ve done tiny races in the states and they still sent me my finishing plate in the mail.  After the 2012 season I was pretty upset with Ironman Canada.  I needed to move on and I felt the race needed to move on…

The long history and the unique feeling I got from my first ironman in Penticton will always be remembered and thought about.  After racing 3 other ironman events, I could not believe how much different and more athlete friendly they were. From not line ups at check in, accessibility, able to grab your bike right away, no line for merchandise, and for most people, a good package of goodies for the athletes.  I couldn’t believe how much different all the other races were.

Tri Geeks all set up in Penticton.

Tri Geeks all set up in Penticton.

Going into this weekend I’m super excited, for many reasons, mainly because I can still race in a relay and enjoy the weekend and cheer everyone else on.   I can tell already just by the emails that Challenge Penticton is going to be a bit of a mess, but I’m hopeful for the years to come that will not be an issue.   It looks like they are trying to correct all the issues the other race had. I’m also excited to hear the input for the race up in Ironman Canada in Whistler.  I’m not sure anywhere in the world that two Ironman distance events happen on the same day in the same state or province.  Just that alone shows there is a very strong triathlon community in this province.  I hope everyone has a super day on Sunday whether its in Penticton, Whistler or in Louisville.    I’m swimming a relay leg of the Challenge Penticton race, then watching, cheering and making some beer company money.

Live tracking on challengepenticton.com and ironman.com –Good luck to everyone and look forward to the race reports.