The Village of Pemberton’s Mayor and Council decided in a public meeting Tuesday morning not to support any future Ironman events that use Pemberton Meadows Road due to safety issues.

The conversation of whether to support Ironman in Pemberton after 2017 has been going on for sometime according to Mayor Mike Richman. He says there has been discussion as to how the event could be better leveraged in the community’s favour. The Village of Pemberton has taken recommendations and concerns from residents to Ironman Canada organisers to find solutions to some points of contentions so that both Ironman and the community benefit from the event if it were to return for a further three years. Currently 2017 is the last year of commitment for Ironman Canada in the Sea to Sky Corridor.

A meeting was hosted Tuesday for the community to provide further feedback as Mayor Richman says there was a “loud voice in the community as to whether or not we wanna support the return of the event”. According to Richman there were a number of comments from the public at the meeting regarding the impact of the event on the community, but a large focus of the conversation surrounded safety on Pemberton Meadows Road.

Mayor Richman says there has been conflict on the road between cyclists and motorists and that they are concerned for participants safety, particularly in the lead up to an Ironman event when training on the road often occurs; “what it comes down too was the safety and security. The more we heard from people the more information we gathered on some of the safety issues along that road, the more we recognized that this is potentially an accident waiting to happen. There is a high potential for somebody to get hurt, and God forbid killed”.

The decision to no longer support Ironman’s use of Pemberton Meadows Road in the event means that if Ironman returned for a further three years from 2018 onward, the course would need to use an alternate route in Pemberton. “Where this goes from here with regards to the route and the Ironman, you know, in coordination with the Ministry of Transportation to figure out another route locally, you know in the corridor, I’m not sure, and that was a consideration too – you know there was a lot of talk about what does it look like if it doesn’t come up the Meadows, are we still shut down, are we still impacted? But really again what it came down to was the safety and security…” says Richman.

The course for this year’s Ironman that takes place at the end of July will go ahead unchanged and will utilize Pemberton Meadows Road, which will be closed during the race (as it has beenin previous years). The Mayor emphasized that the decision was based on safety, “I did not feel responsible supporting an event knowing that there’s this level of conflict, that there’s this level of danger to cyclists, to our residents and to our locals and everybody involved”.



Filed under: Ironman, Ironman Canada, Pemberton, Sea to Sky, Village of Pemberton, Whistler