- BC Games
Apple increasingly popular
In 2012—for the first time in five years—the Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon won't serve as the host venue for the Canadian championships.
Still, the annual summer event in Kelowna will continue to attract many of the continent's top triathletes in the years to come.
"A lot of the elite athletes we think will still make this one of their big stops," said Apple Triathlon president Richard Montgomery. "This will still be the ITU Pan American event, we'll have the Western Canadian youth championships, and all the other races and events we've run in past years won't change. It will still be a very big event. The athletes had nothing but good things to say and that bodes well for the future."
The Apple has played host to the national triathlon championships the last four years and in 2011 drew its largest number of competitors ever—more than 1,800.
Next year, with the Canadian championships expected to be hosted by Edmonton, the overall numbers of competitors coming to Kelowna are expected to dip slightly.
Still, Montgomery is confident the solid reputation the city and the event itself have gained over the years—both across Canada and abroad—will keep the Apple Triathlon at the forefront of many people's summer plans.
The elite races, age group races in the Olympic and sprint distances, the Try-a-Tri, the Kids of Steel, and Kids of Steel camps will remain big draws during the third weekend of August.
"This event certainly puts Kelowna on the map for sport tourism," said Montgomery. "We had people from 12 different countries this year, so it's not just a regional thing, it's truly an international event. The type of people we bring into the community is good for Kelowna, they extend their vacations, they stay for an extended period, use our hotels…there is a big economic impact."
As always, volunteers are a vital aspect of the organizing committee's ability to stage the event.
The Apple called for 1,200 volunteers this year and was able to solicit the services somewhere near 1,000.
"It's such a big event, there are so many contingencies, we could always use more volunteers," Montgomery said. "We were close to the numbers we needed and as always they do a great job. We ad-libbed the best we could and got the job done."
A volunteer appreciation party will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Pushor Mitchell Law Offices.
The 2012 Apple Triathlon will be held Saturday, Aug. 18 and Sunday, Aug. 19.