Owen Sound will be a stop on the Subaru Triathlon Series next year.
City council gave conditional approval at its meeting yesterday to the event scheduled for Sept. 13, 2020 -- subject to a finalized race route plan being submitted at least three months prior to the triathlon that meets the satisfaction of council.
Owen Sound's Director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas told councillors at Monday's meeting the triathlon group is proposing Kelso Beach Park as the central site for the event, with swimmers hitting the chilly waters of Georgian Bay to start.
While the race route has not yet been completely finalized, the plan for the bike portion of the triathlon is to begin at the Kelso Beach entrance and travel northbound on Eddie Sargent Parkway/Grey Road 1 for 20km before looping back.
The proposed running route would also start at Kelso Beach and travel southbound on 1st Avenue West towards 10th Street, Kefalas says, and then head back the park along the Harbour Wall.
A city staff report explains organizers of the triathlon expect about 1,000 people to attend the event.
Coun. Richard Thomas moved the recommendation and called it exciting news for the city. He noted it was estimated the economic spinoff for Owen Sound was around $100,000 when the city last hosted Subaru Triathlon Series events several years ago.
Owen Sound Mayor Ian Boddy calls Kelso Beach the perfect location for this type of event.
"To be able to swim, to be able to bicycle down paved secondary roads ... and to be able to run in the city, we've got great facilities for it," Boddy explains. "It's wonderful to have this event back in Owen Sound."
Owen Sound is already listed as part of the 2020 tour schedule on the Subaru Triathlon Series website. The Scenic City is one of six stops in 2020, along with Milton, Orillia, Niagara and Guelph Lake twice.
The Owen Sound Triathlon will feature both Olympic distance (1,500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run) and Sprint distance (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) races. There will also be triathlon relays, duathlons and swim/bike events.