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The return of Ironman Canada?

The long-awaited entry of The Challenge Family into North America, and the launch of Challenge Penticton in Canada, saw Challenge’s new Penticton event effectively replace the Subaru Ironman Canada event as the long-distance race of choice for Penticton in British Columbia.

However, two applications are in the pipeline that could see Ironman Canada return in 2013…

Kelowna bid
At a council meeting in West Kelowna last week, the local council ‘agreed to send a letter of support in principle to the City of Kelowna for its bid to host the Ironman Canada competition in 2013 and beyond.’ This is in response to Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray sending a letter requesting West Kelowna’s support.

As with Penticton, Kelowna is situation on the Okanagan Lake. It is approximately 34 miles (54 kilometres) north of Pencticton – approximately 50 minutes by road between the two destinations. Kelowna city has an international airport and is approximately 4 hours 30 minutes from Vancouver International Airport – making it convenient for international travellers.

Meanwhile, over in Central Ontario, TriMuskoka – an advocacy club for endurance athletes and endurance sport tourism – is also in the process of putting in a bid. The Muskoka region already hosts the Subaru Ironman 70.3 Muskoka event, and it is understood that a formal bid to host a full Ironman Canada event in the region will be lodged this week.

Located approximately two hours north of Toronto, Muskoka has around 1,600 lakes, making it a popular resort destination. TriMuskoka is asking athletes to support its bid and has issued a statement outlining its intentions…

We (TriMuskoka) are putting in a formal bid to be the next host of Ironman Canada. There are many triathletes who have mentioned to our organization that our community, our course, and our breath-taking landscape should one day be host to a full Ironman. Well, now is your chance to put your support behind making this a reality.

Athletes… spectators… family members… volunteers… anyone who supports this initiative can go and sign our online support page. This will then become a formal part of our bid. We want to know that the athletes want this as badly as we do.

Please take 30 seconds out of your day to go to this page and fill out the information to become a supporter of Muskoka being the next Ironman Canada! http://trimuskoka.com/welcome-to-trimuskoka-2/ironman-canada-muskoka/

Back to two full irons in the fire in Canada?
Further details on the progress of these two applications will follow as they become available. Although time will tell, the desire of Ironman brand owner World Triathlon Corp (WTC) not to lose ground to rival Challenge Family will be strong.

This could therefore bring about a prompt return for Ironman Canada. If reinstated – in British Columbia, Ontario or elsewhere – a new Ironman Canada 2013 would re-join WTC’s other full-iron property, Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, taking the tally back to two full distance races for the Ironman brand in the key strategic market of Canada.