Whistler athletes make strong showing in Squamish Triathlon 

Four local athletes, one relay team on podiums

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Despite some clouds and light drizzling on the early morning of the seventh annual Squamish Triathlon: A Memorial to Bob McIntosh, things cleared up at the start for the almost 500 athletes who took part in the race as individuals and teams.

It was a close race from the start, with Travis Chater and Tim Dewailly of Victoria racing neck and neck through the 1.5 kilometre swim leg. They emerged from the water within a few metres of one another with times of 19 minutes and nine seconds and 19:10 respectively.

The third competitor out of the water this year was a member of the top men’s relay team, Martindale/Bullington in 19:24.

The next solo competitor out of the water was a woman; Victoria’s Regan Petelski climbed out of Alice Lake at 20:00.

Although Chater and Dewailly had a lead of over a minute heading into the 40 km bike, UBC student Paul Krochak pulled into the lead after the bike leg with a time of 58:38.

Vancouver’s Scott Curry, last year’s winner, also pedalled his way into second place with a time of 59:56, while Chater and Dewailly dropped back to sixth and third respectively.

The bike leg was also key to the women’s race with Christine Fletcher taking over the lead with a time of 1:04:00.

Although they didn’t post the fastest times on the 10 km trail run, Krochak and Curry were fast enough to finish first and second overall and in the men’s 25 to 29 group with times of 1:56:32 and 1:57:29 respectively. The runner from the Martindale/Bullington team was third over the line in 1:58:30.

Travis Chater was the third solo male and first in the men’s 20 to 24 age group in 1:59:10.

Christine Fletcher held onto her lead through the run to finish 10 th overall, first among women and first in the women’s 30 to 34 group with a time of 2:06:53. Penny Lidstone was in sight of Fletcher the whole time, finishing second among women and first in the 25 to 29 class in 2:07:20. Tiffany Evans, competing in the 30 to 34 group, was third in a time of 2:07:48.

There was a strong turnout from Whistler this year with 21 athletes and three relay teams taking part.

The first athlete across the line was David Higgins, who was 15 th overall and second in the men’s 30 to 34 race in 2:08:21. Higgins completed the swim in 21:33, the bike in 1:07:23 and the run in 39:25. At the finish line he was just 14 seconds back of North Vancouver’s Jonathan Silcock, who won the 30 to 34 age category.

"I actually had the lead on (Silcock) after the swim, but then he passed me with about three kilometres to go on the bike leg," said Higgins.

"I could see him on the whole run, he had about 40 seconds on me from the start, and I picked up more than 20 seconds of that time. I would have liked to have caught him, and if it was a little bit longer I might have, but still I had a great run. I was pretty happy with my race.

"Having someone ahead of you like that makes you go a lot faster."

Although Higgins is an accomplished runner, this is his first season concentrating on triathlons. He competed in his first Half Iron in Oliver in June, swimming 2K, biking 90K and running 21K.

"The (Squamish Triathlon) is a lot easier than the half. You don’t go easier, but you know you can get away with it. It’s all about the pace – the longer the race gets, the more the pacing is critical."

Higgins said the best part of his race was the run, the after-race picnic, and the support from the Whistler triathlon community. "It’s a great race for first-timers. The course is pretty flat for the bike, and the run is a bit of a grunt at first, but it’s kind of fun.

"We had a big group of Whistler people there who were competing in their first triathlons All of them brought their friends and families, so there was a lot of support on the sidelines."

Marie-Anne Prevost had a strong race, finishing 46 th overall, eighth among women and third in the 30 to 34 race with a time of 2:18:26.

Craig Hill, competing in his first triathlon, was 48 th overall and seventh in the men’s 20 to 34 group in 2:18:39.

Paul Suter, who divides his time between Penticton and Whistler, finished 50 th overall with a time of 2:28:47, finishing eighth in the men’s 40 to 44 group.

Greg Sandkuhl, who is in training for his first Ironman this August, finished in a time of 2:20:01 to place second in the men’s 55 to 59 group.

Sandy Treagus was seventh in the men’s 35 to 39 race with his time of 2:20:35.

Bob Deeks was 11 th in the men’s 40 to 44 race in 2:21:58, helped along by a strong bike time of 1:07:37.

Marla Zucht was fifth out of 40 racers in the women’s 30 to 34 age category with her time of 2:39:06.

Mike Charuk was 14 th in the men’s 40 to 44 race in 2:29:22.

Chris Hodkinson was 24 th in the men’s 30 to 34 race in 2:32:59.

Junior athlete Claire Daniels continues to amaze, winning the women’s 15 to 19 race with a time of 2:34:21.

Brandi Higgins finished in 2:40:49, ninth in the women’s 30 to 34 race.

Leah Blok was 10 th in the women’s 20 to 24 race in 2:41:10. This was her first triathlon.

Marie MacEwan was 15 th in the 30 to 34 age group in 2:48:49.

Liane Dunsmuir, also new to triathlons, was 17 th in he same category in 2:49:55.

Grace Blok was seventh in the women’s 45 to 49 race in 2:59:56.

Tracy Silvester, Jane Hague, Erica Rigik, Chandra Eyton, and Tracy Torrell completed their first triathlons in times ranging from 3:13:15 to 3:32:49.

In the relay category, Team 2 Physios and a Slave from Whistler Physiotherapy in Creekside was first out of 15 women’s teams with a time of 2:19:03.

Team ATNT from Whistler – all new to triathlons – were ninth out of 18 teams in the mixed relay category and 19 th out of 41 mixed teams with a time of 2:38:22.

Team 2 JAFAs and a Pom was ninth in the women’s relay with a time of 2:42:27.

The Squamish Triathlon is organized by the friends of Bob McIntosh, a Squamish-based triathlete murdered on New Year’s Eve of 1997.

The first event was held in 1998 with more than 200 individual participants and 51 relay teams. The event, which is capped at 400 (including teams) participants, has sold out for the last two years.

The proceeds from the event go towards the Robert W. McIntosh Scholarship Fund, with two scholarships of $1,000 handed out each year. As well, some of the money goes towards Squamish trails, including the Cheekye Fan Trail which is used for the running leg of the triathlon.

For more information on the race, visit www.squamishtriathlon.org. The complete results are at www.raceheadquarters.com.

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