Triathletes qualify for worlds 

Whistler athletes went three for three at the ITU Triathlon World Cup in Edmonton last weekend, qualifying for upcoming world championships in New Zealand and Portugal.

It was an Olympic distance competition, which includes a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km bike and a 10 km run.

Leading the way was Tracy Pope, who finished 115 th overall out of 535 racers in the age group category. She was fifth in the women’s 30 to 34 group with a time of two hours 18 minutes and six seconds.

Dawn Weberg-Titus was 219 th overall, and second out of 19 racers in the women’s 45 to 49 race with a time of 2:26:15.

Murray Coates was 479 th , and sixth in the men’s 60 to 64 race with a time of 3:08:12.

All three qualified for world championships. The first takes place this December in New Zealand, and the second takes place in Portugal next May. Coates is going to New Zealand and Pope and Weberg-Titus are going to Portugal.

"For me personally, I had no expectations going into the event," said Weberg-Titus. "We all qualified in Vancouver back in May, and all of us did really well. I was first there, and was given this opportunity to race in Edmonton with the B.C. Team.

"I just thought, ‘let’s go and see what happens’. You don’t even know where you are in a race because all different age groups are together, so I was just out there enjoying what I do, doing my best. Doing well was just a bonus."

Coates participated in the worlds back in 1997, and was determined to make the cut. "I need a road trip," he joked.

He has been putting in 20 or more hours a week of training, cycling to D’Arcy and back, running five times a week, and swimming and weight training at every opportunity.

With the world championships just around the corner, Coates says he will probably step up his speed work a little. "It’s been five years since I’ve been to the worlds and I’d like to do well," he said.

Victoria’s Simon Whitfield, the Olympic champion, was solid racing at home against a strong international field in the World Cup, and finished first with a time of 1:47:07 – seven seconds ahead of Hunter Kemper of the U.S. and 23 seconds ahead of Greg Bennett of Australia.

Carol Montgomery of Vancouver was the top Canadian in the women’s elite category, finishing ninth overall. The top three spots went to a trio from the U.S. – Barb Lindquist, Sheila Taormina and Laura Reback.

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