In the end, reputation mattered little.
Greater Victoria has produced more Olympic and Ironman Hawaii champions than any city in the country, but will not become the new permanent home of Ironman Canada.
Victoria was apparently the preferred location, according to sources, to succeed Pentictons 30-year run as host, but did not even make the shortlist while Whistler, Kelowna and Huntsville, Ont., did.
Given the tight turnaround required after Pentictons sudden move to give up Ironman Canada for another triathlon race brand, a decision needs to be made by Oct. 10. Greater Victorias unwieldy governance structure was cited as the reason it did not make the shortlist, according to local bid organizers.
The Victoria bid, believed to be the only one not put forward by a city or municipal authority, was submitted by SportHost Victoria and Tourism Victoria.
The World Triathlon Corporation told us they did not have confidence we could get the permit approvals from 10 municipalities in the time frame the corporation required, said Hugh MacDonald, executive director of SportHost Victoria.
Were very disappointed but not surprised. Obviously, when youre dealing with one city or municipality, you can make decisions quickly. Its something we are challenged with in this region and lots of events pass us by for that reason. Sometimes we can overcome that to pull it off, sometimes we cant.
According to media reports, Kelowna mayor Walter Gray and city staff even travelled to WTC headquarters in Florida to sell their city.
MacDonald said his biggest regret is that the world organizers wanted to put the Ironman Canada race in Greater Victoria but could not find a way.
We were highest on the list as far as preferred location was concerned, he said.
Our venue and our course were given the highest rating. And thats something of which Im proud.
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