Konoza Azuma was the first participant to cross the finish line in the last day of the 2017 Ultra520K triathlon. This year, a total of 32 athletes are registered to take part in the three-day event. (Black Press file photo)

Athletes prepare for three-day triathlon

The Ultra520K Canada will be held Aug. 4 to 6 in the South Okanagan and Similkameen

The three-day Ultra520K triathlon, a gruelling 520-kilometre swimming, cycling and running competition, will be held in the South Okanagan and Similkameen once again this year during the August long weekend.

The Ultra520K Canada will be the event’s 18th year since it was started in 1993.

The event begins on Aug. 4 with a 10-km swim in Skaha Lake from Penticton to Sovereign Road near Okanagan Falls. Athletes will then complete a 149.8-kilometre bike ride through the South Okanagan, over Richter Pass and ending in Keyon Park in Okanagan Falls.

On Aug. 5, the triathlon continues with a 274.2-km bike route from Penticton to Osoyoos, to Okanagan Falls and to Princeton. From there they will complete and out and back section on the Old Hedley Road, finishing at the Princeton Arena.

On Aug. 6, they will run the 84.4-km route from Princeton to Summerland along the Princeton Summerland Road. The event finishes in Memorial Park in Summerland.

This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of Bruce Schoenne of Penticton, who died earlier this year from liver cancer. Schoenne participated in the Ultraman twice and was a supporter and part of the videography crew for the event.

Athletes will be asked to wear arm bands in his memory during the race.

This year’s race is sponsored by Ride to Survive, one of Schoenne’s favourite charities.

A total of 32 athletes, with 20 men and 12 women, will compete in the Ultra520K triathlon.

The Ultra520K is an invitation event. To be invited, competitors must have completed at least an iron distance race in under 14.5 hours during the past 18 months.

Canadian athlete Dave Matheson from Penticton one of the previous champions and course record holder, is returning but will be challenged by Arno Selukov from France who won in Australia and finished third in Hawaii.

Further information on the Ultra520K Canada event is available at www.ultra520kcanada.com.

Correction: The Summerland Review incorrectly made a reference in this story that the race was called the Ultraman. That information was incorrect and we apologize for the mistake.

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