Sports

Ironman Canada deadline too much, too soon for Victoria

Greater Victoria has been left out of the running in the contest to be the new home of Ironman Canada.

Several factors came into play against bringing the world-class long distance triathlon to Elk Lake but the biggest was getting 10 municipalities on board in time for the deadline of an Oct. 13 annoucment.

“We were disappointed,” said Hugh MacDonald of SportHost Victoria. He submitted the proposal to the World Triathlon Corporation by Sept. 24, which owns the Ironman licences, on behalf of Greater Victoria.

The WTC released a shortlist on Monday of Whistler, Kelowna and Huntsville, Ont., as the final three cities.

“While Victoria as a venue was ranked at the top, (WTC) didn’t have the confidence that we could get the permits and required support from 10 municipalities within five to 10 days,” MacDonald said.

“We weren’t surprised, it’s a lot of hoops to go through in our community to get events.”

The WTC told MacDonald the chances of bringing Ironman Canada to Victoria were much better if the race could wait until 2014. But with competitors chomping at the bit to sign up, WTC is moving fast to find a new 2013 home for the race that lived in Penticton from 1982 to 2012.

“There will be some discussion about the result,” MacDonald said. “We were being encouraged by different groups, we were looking at August but were encouraging WTC to look earlier or later.”

In one way, MacDonald can wipe his brow over the loss of stress.

There was no shortage of support from the triathlon and non-triathlon community to bring Ironman here. But there was legitimate concern, said MacDonald, of just when to fit the massive migration of triathletes and their supporters into the summer event calendar.

“2013 is an exceptionally busy year, some events haven’t been officially awarded yet.”

The World Youth Climbing Championships are coming Aug. 10 to 18, bringing as many as 2,000 people from 45 countries for the event hosted at Stelly’s secondary.

The Subaru Western Triathlon Series also runs the Sooke International half-Ironman, usually the third Saturday in August.

Soon to be confirmed is the Canadian Dragon Boat Championships at Elk Lake, which MacDonald is committed to bringing here, for the weekend of Aug. 24 to 26.

Victoria already has the International Dragon Boat festival, with 70 teams on the Inner Harbour, Aug. 10 to 12. And though it’s not as major a factor, the Canadian Amateur Golf Championships at Royal Colwood Golf course are Aug. 11 to 15.

sports@vicnews.com

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