The 15th annual Wine Capital of Canada and Oliver Half Iron triathlons will take place this weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
This year’s event has over 600 athletes from around the Pacific Northwest and across Canada registered to race. The event has athletes coming from Alberta, Montana, Washington State and Saskatchewan.
“It has been an amazing 15 years in Oliver and we have six of our athletes that have raced with us every year since the race started,” said Joe Dixon, race director. “We have several athletes that have raced here 10 years or more that have missed a year or two and it is great to see so many athletes come here each year from near and far.”
The sprint and standard distance triathlon will take place on Saturday morning at Rotary Beach.
The Half Ironman course includes a two-kilometre swim in Tucelnuit Lake, and a 90-kilometre bike course around Oliver on Highway 97, Tucelnuit Drive and Black Sage Road. The 21-kilometre run course is two loops along Lakeside Drive and Meadows Drive, continuing onto the hike and bike path along the Okanagan River and back to the finish at Rotary Beach. The transition staging area will again be at Tucelnuit Elementary School fields.
Lakeside Drive will be closed race weekend from 5 a.m. Saturday morning until 7 p.m. on Sunday night.
“We couldn’t do this event without the great support we get from the residents of the Tucelnuit neighbourhood, especially those on Lakeside Drive,” Dixon said of the cooperation necessary for the street to be closed during the race. “And the volunteers – they can make or break a successful experience for the athletes. The volunteers in Oliver have quickly gained a reputation as some of the most supportive anywhere.”
Dixon said the events bring more than $250,000 to the local economy. every year.
Registration and the pre-race Expo take place on Friday and Saturday at Tucelnuit Elementary School.
The race starts at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday with awards at noon at Rotary Beach and a pancake breakfast being served up for athletes by the Oliver Elks Club.
On Sunday, the Half Iron starts at 7 a.m. with the final finisher expected to cross the finish line at Rotary Beach at 3:30 p.m.
The post-race lunch for athletes and volunteers begins Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and will be catered by Pappa’s Firehall Bistro with beer served from Firehall Brewery for the afternoon until the race awards at 4:00 p.m.
Steve King, the “voice of Challenge Penticton,” will again be back to announce the race this year.
Further race information or more about volunteering can be found at www.dynamicraceevents.com.