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World’s top Ironman athletes coming to town in 2025

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The Canadian stop on the Ironman circuit, previously held at Mont-Tremblant, Que., will move to the national capital on Aug. 3, 2025.

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One of the world’s most gruelling sports competitions will be coming to Ottawa in August 2025.

The Ironman, a test of stamina and fitness organized by the World Triathlon Corporation, is a race that includes a 3.8-kilometre swim followed by a 180.2-kilometre cycle and a 42.2-kilometre run.

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The event on Aug. 3, 2025, effectively replaces what had been an annual Canadian stop on the Ironman circuit at Mont-Tremblant, Que.

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Mont-Tremblant had been host of the event since 2012, including the world championships in 2014, but the 2023 race was the final one. With more than 5,000 competitors and spectators on site, it became too big for the resort town two hours northwest of Montreal.

Tremblant’s loss is Ottawa’s gain.

“Ottawa offers the quintessential Canadian race environment with a plethora of outdoor activities, great weather and a mosaic of culture all nestled at the very seat of government,” Ironman Group vice-president Keats McGonigal said in a statement Tuesday.

“Ironman Canada has played a prominent role in the history of Ironman and will continue with the expansion to Ottawa.”

The race will begin with athletes swimming two loops of a 1.9-kilometre course at Britannia Beach. From there, they will hop on their bikes, completing 2.75 circuits of a cycling course on National Capital Commission parkways, which will be closed for the event.

The race will conclude with a marathon-distance run starting at Parliament Hill and winding along a course through downtown streets and along the Rideau Canal.

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Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, a passionate marathon runner, sold the virtues of the city to the Ironman community.

“It’s an absolutely stunning and beautiful place to swim, bike and run,” Sutcliffe said. “It’s also the perfect location for outdoor adventures and world-class events, especially an event as prestigious as Ironman Canada.”

The first official Ironman event took place in Hawaii in 1978, initiating a worldwide boom in the sport.

The world men’s record is held by Kristian Blummenfelt, who completed the 2021 course at Cozumel, Mexico, in seven hours 12 minutes 12 seconds. The top women’s time was established by Germany’s Laura Philipp, who finished the 2022 Hamburg circuit in 8:18:20.

The Canadian records were set by Lionel Sanders (7:43:30) and Jen Annett (8:49:27).

Triathlon became an Olympic sport for the 2000 Sydney Games, featuring shorter distances: a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike ride and 10-kilometre run.

After Canada’s Simon Whitfield captured the gold medal with a thrilling finish, triathlon participation numbers increased significantly in the country. Triathlon Canada estimates that more than 47,000 Canadians completed triathlons last year.

kwarren@postmedia.com

X: Citizenkwarren

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