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Ironman brand will bring world-class race to Saanich

May 6, 2014. Ironman champion Magali Tisseyre (left) and sponsor Bob Saunders celebrate the grand opening of the LifeSport building on Elk Lake. The building will serve as headquarters for the Saunders Subaru Ironman triathlon on June 15, 2014. - Nate Clark/News staff
May 6, 2014. Ironman champion Magali Tisseyre (left) and sponsor Bob Saunders celebrate the grand opening of the LifeSport building on Elk Lake. The building will serve as headquarters for the Saunders Subaru Ironman triathlon on June 15, 2014.
— image credit: Nate Clark/News staff

The Victoria Triathlon has a new owner, and it’s the biggest name in the sport: Ironman.

The freshly renamed 2014 Saunders Subaru Ironman 70.3 Victoria will take place June 15, making it the 31st race in the Ironman North American Series. The new corporate owners hope to transform the local race into an international event that will bring thousands of visitors and athletes to Victoria from around the world.

“What a great announcement for our region,” said Saanich mayor Frank Leonard. “We look forward to this being a great success and one of (Ironman’s) flagship events.”

World Triathlon Corporation of Florida, which owns the Ironman brand, purchased the series of races from Lance Watson and Paul Regensburg -- Olympic coaches and owners of LifeSport, a company that gives world-class coaching to athletes in 23 countries. The two men will remain deeply involved in the triathlon, with LifeSport acting as official coach for the event and the newly opened LifeSport building on Elk Lake serving as race headquarters.

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“Lifesport has created a fantastic triathlon race series that Ironman will be proud to own,” said Andrew Messick, CEO of Ironman. “The sport is thriving in Canada and we are excited to expand our race offerings in this beautiful country.”

The 70.3-mile race will feature a 1.2-mile swim across Elk Lake, a 56-mile bike around the Saanich Pennisula, and a 13.1-mile run around the Elk Lake trail. The winner of the race will receive up to $10,000.

“It’s so exciting to have these events in our community,” said Victoria’s Brent McMahon, a two-time Olympian who placed second in the Ironman North American Championship  last Saturday.

 

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