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Organizers are looking for upwards of 3,000 volunteers to help run the event, which will see roughly 2,500 athletes at the start line at Rainbow Park. If you want to help out, email Keats McGonigal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for the event's impact on the resort, it's been estimated that Ironman will result in at least 15,000 room nights surrounding the event, not including all the trips that athletes will make to the community to train on the course.
Obstacle course race draws huge numbers
In 2011, Whistler played host to the Warrior Dash, an obstacle course that sprawled across the slopes of Blackcomb Mountain. But the event was limited in size and with organizers focusing on events that draw 10,000 to 20,000 athletes they decided not to come back.
That opened the door for Tough Mudder, another series that is quickly overtaking the competition when it comes to obstacle races. It offers longer courses, tougher challenges and guaranteed suffering, and people are loving it.
The organizers picked the last weekend in June, and moved the course out to Whistler Olympic Park. Thanks to a cool spring where average temperatures in May and June were about four degrees colder than normal, the almost sold-out event took place on a course that was still covered with snow and where organizers had to chip through the ice on a few sections to create water challenges for athletes.
Some 16,000 people took part, selling out completely on Saturday and almost completely on Sunday, while resort occupancy numbers jumped from the seasonal average of around 60 per cent to 90 per cent.
It was a huge success in other words, and one that the resort is keen to build on. They are currently working on a deal that would secure the Tough Mudder for at least three years — although on a later weekend in the summer to take the snow and ice out of the equation!
Running and more running
Whistler hosted a lot of high profile long-distance runs this year, including the sold-out, second edition of the North Face Whistler Half Marathon in June, a new trail running ultra called the Meet Your Maker in September and the second edition of the Whistler 50 Relay in October. That's on top of a string of events that includes the Whistler Valley Trail Run, the Comfortably Numb Trail Run, the Squamish-to-Whistler Tenderfoot Boogie, the 5 Peaks Trail Run, the Whistler Spirit Run and the Rubble Creek Classic.
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