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Kelowna kicking Ironman tires

The City of Kelowna is looking into the possibility of becoming the new host city for Ironman Canada.

Penticton, which has hosted the event for 30 years, dropped it earlier this summer in favour of a more 'family friendly' Challenge race.

Recreational and Cultural Services Director, Jim Gabriel, confirmed Kelowna is reviewing a Request for Proposals (RFP) put out by the Florida based World Triathlon Corporation which owns the rights to the race.

"We are doing our due diligence to look at it and understand it and make the best determination on whether to go forward with it or not," says Gabriel.

"We're also looking at the implications that go with it (hosting an Ironman) and to try and understand totally what it means and how it fits for Kelowna."

One of those implications would be the future of the Kelowna Apple Triathlon, which has traditionally been run the weekend prior to the Penticton Ironman.

Several other communities around BC have been asked to place a bid for the Ironman Canada event; including Vernon, Whistler, Vancouver and Victoria.

The closing date for the RFP to be submitted is September 24.

"The timeline they have given us is pretty short," admitted Gabriel who says along with consideration of the Apple Triathlon is also a hefty budget the city would have to attach to the event.

"We are trying to understand their process better. We are talking about their selection process, and the timing and all of that."

Gabriel says the city contacted the World Triathlon Corporation about the possibility of hosting the event, not the other way around.

"It's doing our due diligence. It's the Ironman, the iconic name. But again, you have to take a look at it with eyes wide open. How does it fit and does it fit."

Part of the city's due diligence is a phone survey asking residents their feeling on attracting events to the city, specifically Ironman.

A decision will be made soon whether the city will submit a bid for the event.

The site for the 2013 Ironman Canada event will be announced sometime in mid October.

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