Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 – Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run
Starting this year, the Challenge Family series of races has taken over the former Ironman Canada course in Penticton. This race will mark the first ever Challenge series event on North American soil—the series began in Roth, Germany, and now has races all over the world. Pro athletes will be competing for their share of a prize purse of more than 54,000 Euro (or $75,000 CAD), which pays out to 10th place in the men’s and women’s races.
The course travels through the heart of B.C. wine country and along stunning lakes. It’s a challenging course due to both the geography and climate—it’s known for its single loop course through the mountainous B.C. landscape. The swim takes place in the pristine Okanagan Lake. The bike course features two significant climbs at Richter Pass and Yellow Lake with elevation ascents almost 700 feet high. The run includes an out-and-back section along the gorgeous Skaha Lake. The climate, as the Okanagan region is the only desert region in Canada, makes the race especially difficult—temperatures average 80 degrees F, and can reach highs of more than 100 degrees in August.
Highlighting the pro men’s race is Aussie Chris “Macca” McCormack, who will be competing for the first time in Penticton. The two-time Ironman world champion’s biggest competition will come from Jamie Whyte of New Zealand, who won the iron-distance Challenge Wanaka in 2011; Lothar Leder of Germany, a veteran pro and five-time winner of Challenge Roth and other iron-distance races in Germany. Top North American athletes include Scott DeFillippis (USA), who’s had a podium finish at Ironman Florida; Chris Bagg (USA), who finished fourth in Pentiction in 2011; Andrew Langfield (USA); and Anthony Toth (CAN), who was fourth overall in Pentiction in 2012.
In the women’s field, the woman to beat will be Aussie Carrie Lester, who won the 2012 Ironman Cairns and 2012 Rev3 Cedar Point. Canadian Janelle Morrison will be looking to improve on her third-place finish from last year. Other top competitors include Erin Furness of New Zealand, who finished top 10 at Ironman New Zealand this year; and Trish Deim (USA), who’s had top-10 finishes at Wildflower and Ironman Coeur d’Alene in her second year as a pro.