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Challenge Penticton prepping for 2014

After some initial growing pains in 2013, the board for Challenge Penticton Canada is making plans for the next race, slated to be held in the summer.

The Penticton Triathlon Race Society held its Annual General Meeting Monday, which included the election of directors and officials as well as a look at financial statements for 2013.

"We are really planning hard and feeling really positive going into 2014," said chair Paulette Rennie.

The board includes Rennie and Diana Stirling as the vice chair. Andre Martin as treasurer and Gordon Ferguson serving as secretary.  Other members are Bruce Schoenne, Peter Byrnes, Alan Kidd and Annette Antoniak

Rennie said they have held off on releasing costs of the race until now because they wanted the numbers to be accurate.

According to statements, the total cost for the triathlon was $1.1 million in 2013, which includes such costs as staffing, marketing and promotions.

That amount was more than they originally budgeted for but it was a brand new race, said Rennie. Going into 2014 they are looking in every area to decrease operating expenses.

Another area where they have made major improvements is having a much tighter refund policy.

Making the situation more difficult, was cancellations streamed in with the announcement of Ironman Canada in Whistler.

On a high note, out of that $1.1 million, almost 69 per cent of that money stayed in the community.

The final tally of the total number of athletes who participated in the August race was 920 according to Rennie.

Currently there are 800 athletes registered from 16 countries, putting the race in a better position than at this time last year.

Among the goals to make the race a better experience for all involved are providing participation options for all levels of triathletes,  launching a tri-club concierge program and professional triathlete ambassadors and creating a reason for athletes to stay in Penticton for five plus days.

Sponsorships, community engagement and volunteer partnerships are also part of the plan to make the race a memorable experience.

"We will continue to improve upon our communication, and we need the community to rally around us to make this race successful," said Rennie.

Challenge Penticton Canada is now part of the global series of full, relay and half triathlons within the Challenge Family, with its next race on Aug. 24, 2014.

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