REVISED, May 11 — A new “Ironman” marathon event in Calgary in August will have Canada’s largest grain company as its title sponsor.
Viterra on Thursday announced that the event will now be known as Viterra Ironman 70.3 Calgary.
“As an international food ingredients supplier, Viterra is committed to performance excellence and being the best at what it does each and every day,” said Lisa Bentley, the event’s marketing director, in a Viterra release. “Ironman athletes bring that same principle of achievement to their training and their race.
“We also rely on healthy food choices to help us make it across the finish line, which is another significant link to Viterra and its role in bringing nutritious products to market that ultimately fuel the health and wellbeing of people around the world.”
“Our title sponsorship of Viterra Ironman 70.3 Calgary is a perfect fit for us,” Viterra CEO Mayo Schmidt said in the same release. “Our employees are committed to a healthy approach to life. Many of them are involved in sport and fitness in some way, and work with their communities to support health and wellness initiatives.
“Already enthusiasm is building, with some employees registered for the race and others looking forward to contributing to the event by volunteering, and fundraising for our chosen charitable initiative.”
Viterra’s release Thursday did not mention a specific dollar figure, but a company spokesman put its financial commitment to the event at $50,000.
Viterra, in connection with its Ironman sponsorship, said it will raise funds for the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society (STARS), a non-profit helicopter emergency medical service that provides emergency communications, patient care and transport, education and research for rural communities.
The Viterra Ironman 70.3 Calgary event, set for Aug. 2, is expected to include nearly 2,000 athletes from every province and from over 20 countries, and is billed by organizers as both “challenging and scenic.”
Participants are to begin with a 1.9-km swim in Ghost Lake, followed by a 90-km ride from Rocky Mountain foothills into Calgary, and finish with a 21.1-km run along the paths of the Glenmore Reservoir.
The Calgary event also has 40 slots to the 2009 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater, Fla. in November.