1,000 sign up for new triathlon
Sep 6, 2012 / 1:19 pm
The city of Penticton named its board of directors for the new Challenge Penticton triathlon on Thursday.
The board comprised of athletes and other movers and shakers in the community. They will begin meeting as early as this Friday to plan for next summer's race.
"In prior years Penticton was the host, but we were on the sidelines with proceeds leaving the community," said board chair and triathlon race finisher Paul McCann. "This is the first step in the triathlon being run in the community by the community."
Board members on the Penticton Triathlon Race Society volunteer board include McCann, athlete Chris Hawkins, Paulette Rennie, (finance), Gord Ferguson, (tourism), Steve Hardwicke, (medical), city chief administrative officer Annette Antoniak, Chief Jonathan Kruger, (Penticton Indian Band), Andre Martin, (community at large) and Diana Stirling, (community at large).
Challenge Family CEO Felix Walchshofer will also hold an ex officio position.
The formation of the board is the latest move in a whirlwind couple of months for the city.
In late July, officials learned that North American Sports, which had run the long-existing Subaru Ironman Canada, would be unable to run it, with the license being sold to the World Triathlon Corporation, WTC.
The city quickly put together a task force, made up of some of the new board members, to deal with the situation. After presentations by the WTC and the Challenge Family, which offers a global series of long distance triathlons, they went with the latter.
"The WTC came to Penticton with the assumption they would be running the race next year without even talking to the city," said McCann. "The Challenge Family proposal was substantially better for the community."
On Aug. 23, just prior to this year's Ironman, city officials announced it would be replaced by Challenge Penticton.
The city then selected the board members, said Mayor Dan Ashton.
"After the initial scramble we started looking for people to move the city in a new direction," he said. "They will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in business, tourism and sports to the table."
The board plans to set up office in the Penticton and Wine Country Visitor's Centre.
Among their goals are to run a safe race for the athletes, enhance the event experience and generate net funds from the event that will be returned to the community.
They are already getting a positive response, said McCann.
"Athletes from across the globe have contacted us as well as hundreds of volunteers, vendors and suppliers," he said. And more than 1,000 people are already signed up to take part in 2013."
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