No clarity regarding Ironman Canada's future in Whistler 

Sports briefs: Zucht qualifies for Ironman Worlds; Welsh's Spruce Kings sit at 2-0

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - STILL UNCERTAIN The future of Subaru Ironman Canada is still up in the air as Ironman and the City of Penticton continue discussions.
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • STILL UNCERTAIN The future of Subaru Ironman Canada is still up in the air as Ironman and the City of Penticton continue discussions.

Though it appears Subaru Ironman Canada will hold its final race in Whistler in July, the race's regional director for the Northwest U.S. and Canada said nothing is yet set in stone.

The City of Penticton council voted on May 7 to allow its staff to try to woo back the race, which was held in the Okanagan city between 1983 and 2012, for a five-year contract running from 2020 to 2024. A three-year extension signed in 2017 between Ironman, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and Tourism Whistler covered the 2018, 2019 and 2020 editions.

Pique has not seen the contract, but Mayor Jack Crompton confirmed on May 8 that there is no penalty if Ironman bows out early.

Whether the race will have an early exit, however, remains to be seen.

Ironman regional director Dave Christen, who presented to the Penticton council at its May 7 Committee of the Whole meeting, said there was no update about the event's future in Whistler since it is not confirmed to be on the move to Penticton.

"At this point, nothing has been solidified in either location. We're in discussions with everybody and we're trying to choose the best possible (solution) for both host communities as well as us," he told Pique on May 11. "Everybody's in communication ... The approval in Penticton was that city staff can pursue us and pursue the conversation and isn't solidified in stone."

Christen said the City of Penticton initiated contact, reaching out about a possible return "late last year."

He added that there is currently no timeline set for a resolution.

"We have a really great dialogue with the RMOW already," he said. "We're not really set on a timeline, per se; we're just trying to make sure that everybody just takes the time that they need."

What the RMOW knew about Penticton's overtures and when is still unclear.

"They were aware that Penticton was approaching us and we kept them apprised from the beginning," Christen said.

However, an RMOW spokesperson said that they weren't made aware of the situation until relatively recently.

"The RMOW was notified by Ironman Canada in April that they were about to begin exploratory discussions with Penticton," the spokesperson said in an email.

Zucht qualifies for Ironman Worlds

Whistler's Marla Zucht punched her ticket back to Hawaii.

Competing in the women's 45-to-49 division at Ironman Santa Rosa on May 11, Zucht took third after finishing in a personal-best time of 10 hours, 38 minutes and seven seconds (10:38:07).

After taking 18th in the division in the swim, she made up for it with third-place times in both the bike and run portions.

The result allowed Zucht to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in October. It will be her fourth time at the championships.

"I am thrilled and filled with gratitude to have the opportunity to compete at the IM World Championships again," she wrote in an email.

Another Whistlerite, Tomas Korab, finished in 10:21:15 to end up in 19th place in the men's 30-to-34 division.

Welsh's Spruce Kings sit at 2-0

Whistler hockey player Nolan Welsh has helped the Prince George Spruce Kings into a strong position early at the National Jr. 'A' Championship in Brooks, Alta.

Though Welsh has been held off the scoresheet, the Spruce Kings are a perfect 2-0 after defeating the Oakville Blades 5-1 and the Ottawa Jr. Senators 4-0. Prince George wraps round-robin play against the Portage Terriers on Wednesday (the score was not available at press time) and the host Brooks Bandits on Thursday.

RMOW provides e-bike policy update

The RMOW received plenty of feedback in regards to its coming e-bike policy.

The municipality had 75 come out to an open house in March to provide feedback on its proposals, while another 584 completed an online survey.

"This is obviously a topic of interest to many people in Whistler from off-road trail and Valley Trail riders, to commuters, business owners, visitors, community organizations and activity operators. Staff are carefully considering input received and are in the process of sharing the engagement report with Council committees, the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association and the community," Mayor Jack Crompton said in a release.

"The intention of the e-bike policy or regulations being developed is to manage responsible e-bike use on our trails—to set the tone and culture of responsible riding—and be flexible enough to adapt to any emergent issues, new technologies or trends in the years to come. Implementation will occur this spring and summer, along with an e-bike monitoring program that will allow the policy or regulations to be adjusted as needed in the future."

The RMOW will continue to develop the policy, with a rollout expected in June.

The results of the RMOW's survey are available at


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