Runners on top in Victoria 

An all-star lineup turned out to the Nike Victoria International Triathlon on June 16, including Canadian Olympic Gold medallist Simon Whitfield, who finished second, and American Hunter Kemper, who was first.

Kingston, Ontario’s Sharon Donnelly was first among the women in the elite category.

The elite race was a qualifier for the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England this August. The age category race was a qualifier for the world championships in Cancun, Mexico in November, the University Games in Japan this August, and the nationals in Edmonton next month.

It was also part of the New Balance provincial triathlon series.

Only two local athletes participated in the triathlon, but both posted top results in the age group category.

Tracey Pope from Pemberton was 44 th overall and the top female in the race with her time of 2 hours 20 minutes 10 seconds. The result placed her first overall in the provincial standings in the 30 to 34 age group.

Whistler’s Daniel Havens posted a time of 2:25:23, and was fifth in the 45 to 49 age group, and 62 nd overall out of more than 220 participants. He now sits third in the 45 to 49 age group.

The race included a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km bike, and a 10 km run. According to Havens it was a near perfect day for racing. The air was 20 degrees Celsius, the water was 18 degrees, and the sun came out for during the bike portion.

The course itself was challenging. While the water was calm, the bike course was technical with tight turns and inclines, and the run started off with a steep hill that competitors had to do four times. For Havens, it was a good training opportunity for this weekend.

Havens, along with several other locals, will be back on the ferry to Victoria this weekend to compete in the New Balance Half Iron Triathlon on June 23. The Half Iron is a qualifier for the Ironman Canada race in Penticton in August.

"I wanted to get an open water swim race in before next weekend," said Havens. "Everybody thinks I’m crazy doing back to back triathlons, but for me it’s just two hard training weekends. Crazy is what two members of our triathlon group are doing."

According to Havens, Paul and Christine Suter are doing the 67-kilometre Test of Metal bike race on Saturday, heading to Victoria, then racing in the Half-Triathlon on Sunday.


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