An estimated 10,000 people are expected to travel to Penticton next summer for the return of the Ironman triathlon to the Peach City.

In a press release Friday, the city said athletes have already begun booking their accommodation.

“The excitement around the community and for those who are set to compete is very real and very refreshing,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki.

“We all know what a great job Penticton did over several decades hosting past Ironman events, an event that brings tremendous vibrancy to our community during the final weeks of summer.”

Penticton played host to the Ironman Canada triathlon from 1986 to 2012, then parted ways with Ironman due ostensibly to its owners asking for too much financial and in-kind support.

The event moved to Whistler, and Penticton covered the bills for two subsequent Challenge-branded triathlons. It then turned over responsibility for flagship summer triathlons to Michael Brown.

He staged a pair of Challenge races before switching to the Super League brand in 2018. That event attracted just 375 athletes. This year’s race had just 150 registered when Brown cancelled it in July. By comparison, the last Ironman event in Penticton attracted about 3,000 athletes.

Brown’s five-year contract was due to expire this year anyway, prompting the city to go looking for new partners and eventually making up with Ironman.

Last month, Ironman and the City of Penticton signed a five-year contract, ending in 2024.

The August 2020 event is already sold out.

“We are very excited to be coming home to Penticton with Subaru Ironman Canada 2020,” said Dave Christen, the regional director for Ironman.