Sports Briefs: Ironman Canada sold out 

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The first running of Ironman Canada in Whistler sold out this week, with organizers expecting between 2,000 and 2,500 athletes at the start line on Aug. 25, 2013. They did not release the total number of spots available, but athletes do drop out.

Registration was $625, plus taxes and fees.

There is still an opportunity to register for the race, but 2013 Ironman Foundation slots don't come cheap. The fee is double, $1,250, with half the money going towards a charitable donation program that is only deductible for U.S. residents.

Refunds are also a challenge, and participants who pull out only get $150 back if they request a refund before July 11, 2013.

The race has been based in Penticton for 30 years, but moved to Whistler as a result of costs. However, the event is expected to raise $10 to $15 million in revenue for the resort, not including all the trips that athletes will take to the area to pre-swim, ride and run the course.

The course itself includes a 3.8km swim on Alta Lake, a 180km bike ride that first heads to Whistler Olympic Park and then north to the end of the Pemberton Meadows before returning to Whistler for the run — a full-length marathon with two loops of an out-and back course to Emerald Estates.

It's unknown how many athletes have registered for Challenge Penticton, the event that replaced Ironman Canada in that city and that will take part on the same weekend. In September, organizers of the race said over 1,000 had already signed up.

The Whistler event is also attracting a more international field than Ironman Canada has in the past.

Last week, with only a few hundred spots remaining, race director Keats McGonigal confirmed that registration was almost 60 per cent from outside Canada, 52 per cent from the U.S. and almost eight per cent from other countries. Comparatively, Ironman Canada races in Penticton in recent years were about 50 per cent Canadian with about 45 per cent U.S. participation.

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Josh Dueck up for National Geographic "Adventurer" award

Josh "Duey" Dueck, who stunned the world last winter with his incredible, world record-setting sit ski backflip in the Whistler backcountry, is one of 10 people nominated for the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year award. "It was pretty amazing," said Dueck of the nomination. "That was right up there with finding out I was invited to be on the Ellen show, in terms of how excited I was."

Dueck was featured in a short film by Whistler-based Switchback Entertainment and Salomon Freeski TV called The Freedom Chair, which is where freeski pioneer Michael Douglas of Switchback learned that Dueck's goal was to do a backflip on his sit ski — the same trick he was performing when he sustained his spinal cord injury at Silver Star back in 2004. Since his injury he has joined the national para-alpine race team, where he earned a silver medal for Canada in 2010 in the men's slalom.


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