Coloradans Wendy Wyskiel and Rebecca Ball take on Ultra520K Canada

By Khem Suthiwan

The heart of the Okanagan Valley of eastern British Columbia, the sport of triathlon has its roots in the history of the area. From the famous IRONMAN Canada that will be returning to Penticton in 2020 and original home of the Ultra520K Canada, triathletes from all over the world flock to this hidden gem located about 41 miles north of the US-Canadian border.

Tomorrow on August 3rd, two athletes from the Centennial State of Colorado will embark on a 3-day triathlon journey through the “OK” Valley, Wendy Wyskiel (57) of Longmont and Rebecca Ball (41) of Highlands Ranch. To get here they had to submit applications to the race organization, “qualify” with full-ironman distance race finish times under 14.5 hours, and be invited by the race director. Registrations are usually capped to around 35 athletes, and the application process begins approximately 2 years in advance.

Rebecca Ball & Wendy Wyskiel

Over the course of three days, Wyskiel and Ball, along with 22 other athletes representing 8 countries will cover a total of 520km of swimming, biking, and running broken down as shown in the picture above. Each day athletes will have exactly 12 hours to cross the finish line. Athletes also have to provide their own support crew, which will serve as their “mobile” aid station throughout their entire race.

Personally I’ve had the honor of coaching Wyskiel the last 10 months and will be serving as her support crew captain and kayaker during the swim portion of the race. Previous to that I was also the support crew captain and kayaker for local triathlon coach Mary Carey who finished the race in 2018. Carey has also returned to Penticton as a crew member for Ball.

2019 Ultra520K Canada Athletes

The vibe here is unlike any other. Amped up egos and talks of PRs or time goals, you won’t find it anywhere. To show up to start line healthy and finish the race in its entirety is enough for these tough souls. Three days of racing, anything can happen.

Stay tuned here at 303Triathlon.com to see how the rest of the weekend unfolds!

USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships

USA Triathlon is bringing the first-ever Ultra-Distance National Championship to Oklahoma City in 2017! The race is set to occur on Sat. Sept. 16 in conjunction with the popular Redman Triathlon at Lake Hefner, home of the 2016 ITU Long Distance World Championships.

Originally announced as being held in Sandusky, Ohio, the race had to be moved due to unforeseeable issues relating to permiting.

The 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run course (140.6 miles) features a multi-loop swim parallel to the shore. The bike course is fast with rolling hills, followed by a closed, flat run course. Athletes will have the opportunity to race for national titles against the top ultra-distance triathletes in the country

*No qualification is necessary to compete in this event.*

Click here for more information and to register today!

Distances: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run

Eligible Age Groups and Awards

There is not currently an ITU Ultra-Distance World Championship. However, it is the policy of USA Triathlon to provide awards only for those age groups which qualify for this level of competition. Age groups will begin with 17-19 and continue in 5-year increments through 80-84. The minimum ages to compete are based on the ITU Competition Rules (appendix A, page 75).

  • For the 2017 USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championship, athletes must be 17 by December 31st, 2017.

Please note that this event may have additional categories other than what is listed here. USA Triathlon will only provide National Championship awards for the listed age groups. If you are wishing to compete at this event, but do not meet the minimum age requirement, we encourage you to participate in one of our youth events. For a chart of recommended distances for youth multisport athletes, please click here.

Note: This event may allow athletes under 17 to participate. In coordination with ITU rules, they will not be eligible for USA Triathlon National Championship awards.

Oklahoma City to Host USAT Ultra-Distance Champs

Dec 14, 2016

First-Ever USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance Nationals Moved To Oklahoma City

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced that Oklahoma City has been selected as the new host city for the first-ever USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships, set for Sept. 16, 2017, at Lake Hefner. The race will take place in conjunction with the Redman Triathlon, home of the 2016 ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships.

Originally announced as being held in Sandusky, Ohio, USA Triathlon was forced to move the event due to unforeseen circumstances related to permitting.

The 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run course (140.6 miles) features a multi-loop swim parallel to the shore. The bike course is fast with rolling hills, followed by a closed, flat run course. Athletes will have the opportunity to race for national titles against the top ultra-distance triathletes in the country.

“It is certainly a special honor to host the USA Triathlon Ultra-Distance National Championships in its first staging. We’ll do our best to make sure each athlete walks away having had a great experience, worthy of this honor and designation,” said Dave Wood, Redman Triathlon Race Director. “Oklahoma City is rapidly become a destination city, and we’re ready to show the world that we are on the rise.”

In addition to hosting the ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in 2016, the Redman Triathlon has also previously hosted the USA Triathlon Long Course Triathlon and Club National Championships. The 2017 event is part of the FullOn Tri Series, a group of independent ultra-distance races.

For more information and to register, visit usatriathlon.org. For the full national championship lineup, visit usatriathlon.org/nationalchampionships.