Media Releases

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Whistler residents and guests invited to cheer on Subaru IRONMAN® Canada athletes

Tourism Whistler media release
For immediate release - August 13, 2013

Whistler residents and guests invited to cheer on Subaru IRONMAN® Canada athletes

Suggested tweet: #Whistler is open for business during Subaru IRONMAN® Canada event; public encouraged to cheer athletes and enjoy the energy

Whistler, B.C. – The energy is building in Whistler as the community prepares to host its inaugural Subaru IRONMAN® Canada triathlon later this month.

The endurance event that pushes competitors – and their bodies – to the limit starts with a 3.8-kilometre swim, then moves to a 180-kilometre bicycle ride followed by a 42-kilometre marathon and will see 2,500 competitors, along with thousands of spectators and volunteers, flock to the Callaghan Valley, Whistler and Pemberton on Sunday, August 25.

While many athletes have been training in the area for months, the August 25 event day begins at 6:30 a.m. and ends at midnight at the finish line in Whistler Olympic Plaza.

Whistler Olympic Plaza will be a hub of activity over the Subaru IRONMAN® weekend, hosting the welcome ceremonies on Friday evening, the event Expo, live video coverage on event day, entertainment and festivities such as informational sessions including a professional athletes’ panel with audience Q&A. In addition to the event Expo featuring numerous exhibitors with products ranging from sports clothing and equipment, accessories, food and services for athletes, Whistler businesses are participating in the Village Stroll Business Showcase.

“Whistler is known internationally as a world-class destination and sport tourism is an important part of that equation,” said Louise Walker, Tourism Whistler’s Vice President of Marketing Strategy. “We are excited to welcome the Subaru IRONMAN® Canada event to Whistler,” she said. “Not only are we confident that Whistler, with its reputation for hosting high-calibre events in its spectacular natural setting, will be a stellar location for this exciting event, we know that hosting the Subaru IRONMAN® Canada will have significant economic impacts for the resort – prior to, during and following the event day.”

Already, room nights for the dates for this year’s IRONMAN are pacing ahead of the same dates last year, when there was no event. In addition, results from past IRONMAN events in other Canadian locations indicate that each athlete typically spends $2,800 in the community.

“Sport, athleticism and outdoor recreation are core to the values and culture of Whistler, and we are excited and honoured to host an elite event like Subaru IRONMAN® Canada, said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “The event presents Whistler with an exciting opportunity to build our resort’s reputation as a world-class destination for hosting world-class events. Subaru IRONMAN® Canada is expected to generate $15 million of overall economic benefits to the resort, with the benefits extending beyond the event period, to pre-event training trips and post-event visits generated by exposing Whistler to a new market.”

In addition to the thousands of volunteers that will ensure the success of the Subaru IRONMAN® Canada, it is expected that thousands of spectators will join in the celebration – in Whistler and Pemberton -- cheering the athletes as they push their bodies to the finish line. Travelers heading south on Highway 99 via Pemberton are invited to enjoy Tourism Pemberton’s IRONMAN CheerFest, operating until the highway opens to southbound traffic (9am to 4pm). Free parking is available.

Whistler is open for business on event day and guests are encouraged to enjoy the event while taking part in the many activities Whistler has to offer. While Whistler Olympic Plaza is the official finish line and the hub of activity, Whistler spectator viewing locations will be outlined in upcoming communication from IRONMAN. All information is posted as it becomes available on and

Whistler Street Entertainment will energize the village August 23-26 with performances by Vancouver’s Kutapira, the 2011 Canadian Hip Hop champions FRESHH, the Vancouver Tap Dance Society, Capoeira Ache Brasil and Asaya’s Hooping Circus.

"IRONMAN Canada is thrilled to be in our new location in the Sea to Sky. The beauty of Whistler and the Pemberton Valley makes for one of the most spectacular race courses on the IRONMAN schedule,” said Keats McGonigal, IRONMAN Race Director. “The IRONMAN team is excited to show off the new venue to all our participants and we're also very grateful to everyone in Whistler and Pemberton for their support, patience and assistance during our first year of production in the Corridor."


Whistler is excited to host the Subaru IRONMAN® Canada event August 25 and spectators are welcome! It will be an exciting weekend in Whistler. In order to ensure a successful IRONMAN is enjoyed by all, please plan ahead and make note of the following traffic changes on August 25:

Driving north to Whistler Village, Highway 99 will be open (with some brief delays) on IRONMAN event day, August 25.

  • Highway 99 is fully open to the Callaghan Valley (Whistler Olympic Park turn-off). From the Callaghan Valley to Whistler Village, single-lane northbound travel and minor delays should be expected between 8:30am and 12:30pm.
  • From 12:30pm onward, Highway 99 is completely open to Whistler Village, in both north and southbound lanes.
  • From 1:00pm onward, Highway 99 is open to Pemberton and points northeast.
  • Drivers should expect minor detours and delays throughout the Whistler and Pemberton areas throughout event day.
  • In addition to these traffic changes, public transit will be significantly impacted from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • The Valley Trail will remain open, however the section used for the event will see heavy competitor traffic.Day Lot 4 and parking in Rainbow Park will be closed from August 22-26. Most of Rainbow Park will also be used for the event.
  • Details are to be finalized this week and will be available at, and

The Whistler IRONMAN location was announced in October 2012 following a bid submission by the Whistler Organizing Committee (Tourism Whistler and the Resort Municipality of Whistler). The successful bid was the result of a collaborative effort between Tourism Whistler and the RMOW, as the WOC, along with Whistler Sport Legacies Society and resort partners, businesses, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District and the Village of Pemberton.

Whistler-based travel consultants at can customize vacation packages, taking care of flights, ground transportation, accommodation and activities. offers the largest selection with no booking fee for accommodation and activities. Call 1.800.WHISTLER (1.800.944.7853) to request a no-obligation quote or visit for more details and offers.


Whistler is Canada's premier year-round leisure and meeting destination located in the Coast Mountains 120 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Consistently rated the top ski resort in North America, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The resort offers an extensive range of accommodations totaling 10,000 bedrooms among 24 hotels as well as townhomes, condos, B&Bs and chalets. Whistler also boasts more than 100 restaurants and bars, 200 retail shops, 25 spas and countless activity options from world-renowned skiing and snowboarding, mountain biking and golf, to hiking, rock climbing, and watersports. The Resort Municipality of Whistler is home to a diverse community of more than 10,000 permanent residents.

Tourism Whistler is the member-based marketing and sales organization representing Whistler, operating the Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler Golf Club, Whistler Visitor Centre, as well as 1.800.WHISTLER and - Whistler's official source for visitor bookings and information. As the convention and visitors bureau for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Tourism Whistler represents more than 7,000 members who own, manage and operate properties or businesses on resort lands including hotels, restaurants, activity operators and retail shops.

Broadcasters: Whistler now has the capability to take you live with our enhanced fibre network. The significantly expanded network of more than 200 kilometres of fibre optic cabling throughout the resort allows instant transmission of HD signals to any location at any time. Details on how to access, and book the fibre are available on our media site.

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Media Contact

Patricia Westerholm
Manager, Corporate Communications
Tourism Whistler
T: 604.938.2748
Twitter: mediaTWhistler
Facebook: GoWhistler