Once again, over the August long weekend, the South Okanagan and Similkameen will play host to Ultraman Canada. Ultraman Canada is a unique, individual, three-day event consisting of 515 km of swimming, biking and running. This years’ event marks the 14th running since its inception in 1993.
This year’s race features 29 athletes hailing from six different countries including Canada, the United States, Norway, Australia, Spain, and Malaysia. In order to be invited to this demanding endurance race, competitors must complete at least an iron distance race (226.3km) in under 14.5 hours during the past 18 months.
There are 5 returning athletes this year, as well as 7 of the athletes who participated in the event last year as a crew members. Vancouverite Mike Romaniuk, a self-professed nerd, noted it was watching fellow athlete Tony Horton compete in 2012, which helped him commit to the event. As well, California resident and firefighter, Rick Van Tuyl was inspired by Nick Mallett, whom he crewed for last year. He decided this was the “crazy thing” he would do when he turned 50.
Ultraman competitors typically have long lists of athletic achievements and this years’ competitors are no exception. Stacia Watson, who hails from California and has cycled around the world, made Ultraman a bucket-list item. Similarly, accomplished multisport athlete Chris Willer from Toronto indicates this race is also on his bucket-list and will mark his retirement from long distance events. He has competed in triathlons for 16 years. Athlete Lisa Wei-Haas has competed in multi-sports for 22 years while Australian Competitor Melissa Urie is competing since other competitions are no longer enough of a challenge.
Day 1 (Aug 2) begins with a 10km swim in Skaha Lake from Penticton to Sovereign Road near Okanagan Falls. After which, athletes complete a 144.8 km bike ride through the South Okanagan, over the Richter Pass, and ending back in Kenyon Park in OK Falls.
Day 2 (Aug 3) continues with competitors cycling a 274.2 km bike route from Penticton to Osoyoos. They return to OK Falls, then climb “The Wall” to Willowbrook and Twin Lakes on their way to Princeton where they complete an out and back section to Alison Lake to finish at the Princeton Arena.
Day 3 (Aug 4) completes the event with an 84.4 km run from Princeton to Summerland along the Old Princeton-Summerland Road. The athletes finish at Memorial Park in Summerland.
Local residents are invited to witness the end of all stages as follows: Stage 1, Kenyon Park, Okanagan Falls, approximately 2:00 p.m; Stage 2, Princeton Arena, approximately 3:00 p.m, Stage 3 Memorial Park, Summerland approximately 1:30 p.m.
Alternatively, for the first time we will be offering live streaming of selected portions of the event from our website at www.ultramancanada.com Shaw Cable have been instrumental in providing the appropriate connections for our technical and have made the streaming possible.
The local community has been incredibly supportive of this event, most notably the IGA in OK Falls, Jack Kelly Coffee, The Bike Barn, District of Summerland, Town of Princeton, OK Falls Parks & Recreation, Speedo, Hammer Nutrition, Hoodoo Adventures, Peach City Runners, Impact Canopy, Schoenne Appraisals and Cannery Brewing.
For further information on Ultraman Canada visit www.ultramancanada.com or contact Race Director, Steve Brown at (250) 490-3334