This summer, IRONMAN Canada makes its homecoming return to Penticton. It was nearly 40 years ago when 24 triathletes entered Lake Okanagan to compete in the first triathlon event. Three years later, in 1986, the event became known as IRONMAN Canada, the first North American IRONMAN race to take place outside of Hawaii. Although the event moved to Whistler, B.C. in 2012, it’s now making its triumphant return to Penticton this August.
Today, Penticton is becoming recognized as the endurance sports capital of B.C. Our mild climate and diverse landscape allows for long training seasons, challenging trail networks and routes, and endless kilometres of roads and trails for those extra-long endurance runs or rides.
Penticton is the perfect location for many different endurance sports – competitive activities that require sustained effort for extended periods of time, such as cycling, running, cross-country skiing, rowing or paddling.
This week, as we celebrate Tourism Week in Canada (May 29 – June 4), let’s tip our hats to sports tourism and be thankful for the enormous economic benefits it provides to our community. Scroll down to see which endurance sports events are soon coming to Penticton. Welcome back to all the competitors, supporters and fans!
All Seasons. All Sports. All Events. Penticton offers world-class facilities and a long history of hosting major international, national and community sport events. We have over 5,000 volunteers, a 5,000-seat multi-purpose arena, two convention centres, 100 sport facilities, 43 hotels and 1,830+ guest rooms. Visit our Sport & Event Tourism page for details.
Upcoming Endurance Sports Events
Expedition Canada, June 3-11: Teams of four tackle a course on foot, bikes and canoes while using maps and compasses to make their way from checkpoint to checkpoint.
Okanagan Granfondo, July 9-10: This cycling event ranks among the premier road cycling events in North America, attracting recreational, elite and pro cyclists.
Peach Classic Triathlon, July 17: The Peach Classic started in 1983 on the shores of Okanagan Lake in Penticton. The course consists of sprint and standard distance triathlon events.
Ultraman Canada, July 22-24: Athletes from around the country and the world travel here to test their limits with this ultra distance triathlon.
Ultra 520K Canada, July 30-Aug. 1: Athletes travel from all over to compete in this 3-day ultra-distance, stage triathlon, a true test of individual endurance.
Subaru IRONMAN Canada, Aug 28: Penticton is the hometown and birthplace of IRONMAN Canada, so it’s only fitting that this comeback event returns to where the action began – nearly 40 years ago.
Dragon Boat Festival, Sept 10-11: Cheer on the teams as the Millennium boats take to the water off Skaha Lake Park. The festival will have a vendor’s market, food trucks and a beverage garden.
Bighorn Bushwack 24 hr Adventure Race, Sept. 10-11: Competing athletes must complete a course by navigating to checkpoints using maps. The course will be open for 3 hours for the family & beginner course and 8 hours for the regular.
BC Bike Race, Sept. 16-22: This multi-day mountain bike stage race is dubbed the ultimate singletrack experience.
Kettle Mettle Gravel Fondo, Sept. 17: The oldest Gravel Fondo in Western Canada, and deemed one of the most scenic Gravel Fondo courses in North America, this race attracts athletes for two days of events, including a 50K, 100K and 135K+ race.
BC Bike Race Gravel Explorer, 1-day race (LT) Sept. 25, 5-day race (XLT) Sept 24-29: Racers will compete in the 1- or 5-day race, zig-zagging through some incredible scenery.