Challenge Penticton 2013: Ironman Distance Results Analysis

Choosing not to renew its 30-year relationship with Ironman Triathlon's parent company, World Triathlon Corporation, the town of Penticton, BC, Canada, chose the Challenge Organization to manage the area's 2013 Ironman Distance race. Not to be outdone, the World Triathlon Corporation was quick to begin its search for a new location for the Official Ironman Canada, settling on Whistler BC as the perfect venue to replace Penticton.

It was declared that both races would be contested on the same day, the last Sunday in August, the 25th. Then it got interesting. With plans to use the same legendary Ironman course of previous years, Challenge hoped to maintain the triathlete community's intense loyalty to racing in Penticton, to the tune of nearly 3,000 registered entrants each year. But the Ironman brand also has a fiercely loyal following. Of the thousands who had been interested in racing in British Columbia in August, how many would choose Challenge, how many would choose the new Whistler Ironman?

In short: Ironman Whistler generally dominated the battle from start to finish. Some fast facts:
  • Registered Entrants: Challenge -- 751 (compared to nearly 3,000 in Ironman years); Whistler -- nearly 2600
  • Both had about 18% DNS, 7% DNF (but Challenge had an 18 hour cut-off time, though few finished after 17 hours)
  • Average Finishing time (as indicator of the field's competitive talent): Challenge: 13 hours 41 minutes (vs around 13 hours in Ironman years); Whistler -- 12:52)
We've run the numbers for Challenge Penticton 2013, overall, by split, by age group (for some reason, Challenge results did not break out male vs female athletes by division), by correlation between bike and run split, by year, and more. Also see our complete Ironman Penticton Race Coverage from previous years for comparison.