The city of Toronto will host a 5150 triathlon on July 22nd next year after the local council approved the closure of two busy expressways at a meeting last night.
An request earlier this year from the World Triathlon Corporation - the series owner - was rejected by the public works and infrastructure committee (who said that the inconvenience to motorists outweighs the benefit of the event) but the city council overuled them and fully endorsed the event.
After a swim in Lake Ontario the route will see athletes cycle across the Gardiner Expressway and up the Don Valley Parkway. Normally these roads are only closed for repairs and the Becel Ride for Heart, a charity event. As the 5150 is not a charity WTC are donating $25,000 to Maple Leaf Sports Team Up Charitable Foundation.
Councillor Mark Grimes said endorsing the event is a “no brainer as it is an Olympic event and will be part of the Pan Am Games which Toronto is hosting in 2015.
Jeff Chong of Sports Focused Consulting who along with World Endurance Canada (the Ontario arm of WTC) fought to bring the race to Toronto told the National Post “In an overcrowded calendar of endurance events, you have to create something that has a differentiating factor that prompts athletes to get an experience they wouldn’t garner from other races”.
1,000 athletes are expected to participate in the race which is expected to bring $1.5 - $5 million in economic impact.
Thanks to Danny Ward our British Bureau Chief for this story.