If you thought a regular triathlon seemed daunting, then the 140.6-mile course that makes up Ironman Canada will probably make you shake in your boots. The track consists of a 2.4-mile swim in the waters of Alta Lake, followed by a 112-mile bike course, and ends with a 26.2-mile marathon that finishes in Olympic Plaza for all to see (yikes!). Competitors have a strict time limit of 17 hours to complete the entire course in order to receive ‘Ironman’ status. For all those wanting to compete, it is advised that you start training well in advance.
Whistler’s Ironman triathlon is only one of several long-distance races organized by the World Triathlon Corporation that take place all over the world. What was once the original Ironman race has now become the Ironman World Championships, held in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii annually since 1978. To qualify for the championships, one must successfully finish in one of the top spots during a qualifying Ironman event. Some notable competitors include Australian triathlete, Craig Alexander, who is a 3-time Ironman World Champion and currently holds the record for fastest Hawaii course time, and Natasha Badmann, 6-time winner of the World Championships and the first European female to win the competition. This year, Ironman Canada will be offering 50 qualifying spots for the World Championship.
Despite the long-standing tradition of the race, Ironman Canada is relatively new to Whistler. Our world-class resort first hosted the competition in 2013 and has enjoyed 2 successful years thus far. Hosting the race in Whistler allows contenders to take in pristine mountains and breath-taking scenery (literally, they’re going to be out of breath), while competing in one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.
Ironman will be taking place in Whistler on Sunday July 26, 2015. Whistler Museum & Archives Society will be there at our Run Aid station, enjoying the race and keeping the athletes hydrated. We’re bringing along some amazing and generous volunteers, and the money awarded for our volunteer participation will be used on essential archival materials for our growing collection.