Penticton Ironman triathlon


Penticton Ironman triathlon comes to an end.

Of course it has taken on many changes since the mid-1980’s when I first began to make the journey to Penticton in late August.

Its very surprising that so many who are tackling an Ironman for the first time choose Pentiction.

Of course there are many Canadians, but there are many Americans as well who would cross the border and choose the Penticton ironman triathlon over the many choices for Ironman races that have been springing up in the U.S. over past years.

I believe it says quite a for the reputation Ironman Canada earned over the years. I say it’s a bit surprising because it’s a very challenging course, especially with the two huge mountain passes that have to be climbed on the bike.

I suppose from the positive point of view riders could at least come screaming down the other side of the climbs at about 50-55 mph.

The swim could be really good or really tough on Pentiction Ironman triathlon day. It all depended on the weather and the water temperature. If cooler water was not a problem for you than it was fine. The wetsuits you can buy today are quite warm.

The run could be very hot and is hilly in the middle of the course but has amazing aid stations.

All that aside, Penticton Ironman triathlon was really a fabulous race. I think it’s true for two very important reasons.

First of all the scenery is stunning and by that I mean the entire Okanagan Valley as well as the course itself. There was nothing like taking one of those final easy rides around the lake toward Naramata in the early morning or at dusk.

The bike course itself would take the riders around lake Skaha and through the many orchards before reaching Osoyoos and Richter’s Pass, the toughest climb on the bike course.

Most of all, Penticton Ironman Canada has amazing volunteers who had lots of practice at hosting the Ironman over it’s 30-year history and it was very well done.

Penticton Ironman triathlon

The 30th anniversary the final race for Ironman Canada in Penticton.

People just loved this race. In the later years it filled up in a matter of hours. It was almost as hard to get into the Penticton Ironman as it was the Kona Ironman triathlon.

The only sure way to get in was to be there the day after the race and sign up for the following year, and hundreds of people chose that option.

To get in, you either have to be there the day after the race, or sitting at your computer that Monday after the race. If that failed you could always try for a very expensive community entry that was over twice the price of a regular entry fee.

In any give year there were usually enough people just in Penticton alone to fill the race about half way or more and the rest was done online in a matter of minutes.

On the 30th anniversary of the Penticton Ironman it was announced that it would be the last Ironman race in Penticton. There was a lot of sadness and a lot of fond memories left in its wake.


Visit for race results.

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