The International Triathlon Union (ITU) has announced Penticton, British Columbia, Canada as the host city of the 2017 Multisport World Championships Festival. The inaugural event will take place in the summer of 2017 and will encompass four of the ITU’s premiere events – Duathlon, Aquathon, Cross Triathlon and the Long Course Triathlon World Championships. This groundbreaking event now allows for athletes to compete in various multisport races, as opposed to electing only one each season.
Penticton, which was voted one of the ten best places in the world to visit in a survey by the Huffington Post, boasts an impressive triathlon history, as it was the first city outside of Kona to host a long course triathlon. The British Columbia city is also the birthplace of Triathlon Canada, as ITU’s founding President Les McDonald drafted the National Federation’s blueprint in 1984 with a group of triathlon enthusiasts.
“We are extremely excited for the opportunity the ITU has given us and the community of Penticton,” said Co- Race Director Michael Brown. “We believe Penticton is the perfect location to launch this new initiative by the ITU, Penticton has a proven track record and we are ready to welcome the world.”
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit was thrilled with the announcement saying, “Hosting four World Championships over a 10-day period is a coup for Penticton and falls into our sport tourism strategy to leverage and re-establish Penticton as the premiere triathlon destination for training, family fun and competition. We are proud of our 32-year history of hosting triathlons, our legendary volunteer army, friendly and jubilant community, and iconic course that is among the stunning vistas of the mountains, vineyards and lakes. We look forward to hosting the world and showcasing our beautiful region.”
Proposed plans will see all four competitions start and finish in the heart of Penticton. The spectator-friendly courses will feature a variety of terrain for those athletes competing in more than one World Championship event. The races will also include some of the area’s many vistas, wineries and landmarks, as well the downtown area, adding to the overall atmosphere of the festival.
“The Multisport Festival is a truly innovative idea that provides multisport athletes with the opportunity to compete in multiple World Championship races,” said ITU President and International Olympic Committee Member Marisol Casado. “To date, age group athletes were often forced to choose between one multisport championship race over another, where as they will now be able to combine both experiences in one family-friendly spectacular week of racing.”
The proposed dates for the festival will fall in August of 2017 with qualifying events taking place throughout 2016.