Kamloops had a solid bid for next summer's Ironman Canada event, but it just wasn't what the World Triathlon Corp. was looking for, City parks, culture and recreation director Byron McCorkell said Monday.
Kamloops was one of seven communities vying for the late-August event after Penticton cut its long-standing ties with the Ironman branding to go with a Challenge triathlon next year.
Making the short list were Kelowna, Whistler and Huntsville, Ont. Others that didn't make it were Vernon, Calgary and Victoria.
Tournament Capital co-ordinator Sean Smith said he wasn't given a lot of details about why Kamloops didn't make the cut. The Ironman representative he spoke with said the Kamloops bid was solid.
"They just had three other bids that were really shining," he said.
Putting the bid together cost about $3,500 — a reasonable price that the Kamloops Triathlon Club helped keep down with its volunteer efforts to research potential routes and other work, said Smith.
The final route proposed was to use Kamloops Lake via Tobiano or Savona for the swimming portion of the triathlon. It lent itself to presentation, particularly for TV coverage, but there were issues with crossing the CP tracks that cut through the property, he said.
CP Rail indicated it would try to co-operate, as did the Ministry of Transportation, B.C. Ambulance, the local MLAs and MP, he said.
Kamloops is already slated to host the B.C. Seniors' Games and B.C. Summer Swim events next August and the Skate Canada adult championships in April.
McCorkell said the cycling leg of the triathlon would have been held on a nearby secondary highway and the marathon route would have extended into Westsyde.
"We had a spectacular route, the views and the test that would have been provided with what we feel was some of the best competitions in the world," he said.
"The logistics of the distances between start and finish was a factor."
All of the short-listed communities are largely resort focussed, he noted.
Last week, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray took three other City representatives with him and delivered their Ironman bid in person in Florida, where the company is based.
McCorkell said Kamloops followed the mapped out protocols, as it has been doing for years with its bids.
"From our perspective, following the guidelines put forward and doing the best job of your presentation is what we do. We're comfortable the system is above that type of an approach," he said.
When the City has been required, it has sent delegations to accompany event bids. That wasn't the case with Ironman.
The City of Penticton held its first iron triathlon event 30 years ago and had a long association with Ironman. But officials felt the increasing costs the City was being asked to put up, and the fact it was volunteers working for free for what has become a corporate entity, were leaving a bad taste.
Next year, the first Challenge Penticton is being held, associated with a European-based Challenge series of triathlon events.