Directors briefed on Challenge triathlon

Barb Haynes appeared before the regional district board to discuss the upcoming Penticton Challenge triathlon race.

Barb Haynes of the Penticton Triathlon Race Society, appeared before the regional district board to discuss the upcoming Penticton Challenge triathlon race.

Challenge Family triathlons are a global series that allows athletes of all ability levels to compete at a fair price, Haynes told the board. She said that 98 per cent of the athlete field consisted of “age group” athletes who were either passionate about sport or fulfilling “bucket lists”. Challenge Family consist of nine half distance and 10 long distance triathlons globally.

Haynes described Penticton’s entry into the Challenge Family as a “good opportunity.” The city holds the Canadian license and now has a good opportunity to brand the race.

“The race will eventually be profitable,” Haynes said, “and there will be an opportunity to provide grants to local communities. The money that the race generates will be here to stay.”

Haynes described the event as a week long festival leading up to race day. Pro racers will contract to participate in a series of events during the festival week, and prize money will amount to $75,000 this year, up from $60,000 last year.

Relay teams are an new addition to triathlon racing in Penticton. They will contribute to a greater cross section of people in the sport, as athletes partner with friends or family, or get matched up through the Challenge website.

Haynes outlined this year’s racing budget. Marketing expenses will total $69,500 out of a $960,000 budget. Revenue will come from registrations, sponsorships, merchandising, an expo to be held during race weeks and staff grants. There are currently 1,362 athletes registered for this year’s race.

“Everything in this year’s race starts from scratch,” Haynes said, noting there were no assests left over from previous years.

Haynes also made a request to the board for regional district sponsorship, seeking $25,000. The board will discuss the request at a future meeting.