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Cities Across Canada Chasing Ironman Canada Dream

imredlogo350.jpgBids to the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) from cities across Canada to host the next Ironman Canada triathlon were due on Monday. It won't be an easy decision for the WTC now that we know that Kelowna, Whistler, Vernon, Kamloops and Victoria all in British Columbia as well as Huntsville, Ontario have submitted proposals for possibly next year's event. From what we see, officials in Calgary did not submit a bid to host the event.

The WTC is looking for a community that has the experience and infrastructure to host a major international event, can house up to 10,000 or more participants, officials and spectators, with easy airport and road access, and be a compelling destination for onlookers and media.

Victoria is no stranger to producing triathletes or hosting long-distance running and bike races. They submitted a bid by Monday's deadline to become the permanent home of the Ironman Canada race. The bid was prepared and entered by SportHost Victoria and Tourism Victoria (story link).

The city of Vernon produced a survey to determine if they should seek to host the event, the city received 722 responses in support and 44 not in support and over 500 individual or families indicated they were willing to volunteer. Vernon is about 32 miles North of Kelowna which also submitted a bid and about 72 miles north of the previous Ironman Canada host city, Penticton.

Huntsville, Ontario already has a relationship with the WTC as it's the location for one of the Ironman 70.3 races in Canada, Ironman 70.3 Muskoka. TriMuskoka, an advocacy club for endurance athletes and endurance sport tourism in Huntsville and Lake of Bays, Muskoka worked on the bid.

Whistler, best known for its downhill sports like skiing and mountain biking as well as hosting a number of events for the 2010 Olympic Games, has put in a proposal to be the next host city of Ironman Canada (story link).

Kelowna, a four-season destination featuring all the amenities of a major city submitted a bid as well (story link).

The World Triathlon Corporation is expected to short list its preferred candidates later this week and is expected to announce its decision on the new host city for Ironman Canada on October 10th, just days ahead of the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.