- BC Games
10th title for Whitfield, Brault wins women's gold
The man most Canadians associate with the sport of triathlon is still the man.
Victoria's Simon Whitfield held off friend, training partner and rival Kyle Jones on Sunday at the Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon in Kelowna to win the national men's title for an unprecedented 10th time in his career.
Whitfield—a two time Olympic medalist—narrowly edged out Jones in last year's race, but dominated the 2011 field on a hot, muggy afternoon finishing the 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike and 10 km run in one hour 54 minutes 12 seconds.
Jones was second in 1:54:36, while American Gregory Billington took third in 1:54:46.
Jones had beaten Whitfield in two previous races leading up to the Apple making him the only Canadian in the last decade to get the best of Whitfield.
But on Sunday it was the 37-year-old veteran who held the upper hand. The two were neck-and-neck over the first two legs of the race before Whitfield left Jones in his wake on the running portion.
“It is nice to get one on Jones because he has been bloody strong this year,” said the two-time Olympic medallist. “We had some fun banter throughout the week. We have become like brothers. Every workout we are side-by-side so we know how much it will hurt to win.”
While Whitfield's victory came as little surprise, Sarah-Anne Brault shocked the women's field by winning her first ever Canadian championship.
The 21-year-old Winnipeg product, who attends West Virginia University on a track scholarship, pulled off an unlikely upset as she overtook world No. 3 Paula Findlay of Edmonton during the 10 km run and never looked back.
“I felt pretty good today, but I am so surprised,” said Brault. “Paula took off after the transition. She’s the best in the world. I never once thought I could catch her or win. I had no idea how the run would go, but I just kept to my pace.”
Brault took the gold in a time of 2:04:41. Findlay, who is regaining her fitness after a hip injury earlier this year, took the silver in 2:05:35.
American Lindsey Jerdonek took the bronze in 2:06:03.
A pair of young Canadians captured their first national titles as Ellen Pennock and Francis Lefebvre won the junior elite women’s and men’s races at the Canadian championships Saturday at the Apple Triathlon in Kelowna.
Calgary’s Pennock, one of the rising young stars in the sport, won the first of the four races of the Teck National Junior Series which culminated with Saturday’s national championships, clocked a winning time of 59 minutes 53 seconds over the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run.
“The bike course was really technical and I had to work hard to catch up,” said the 18-year-old Pennock, who finished third last year. “The race was really excellent with lots of energy from all the people. I am so happy to win."
In the junior men's race, Lefebvre, of Laval, Que., clocked a gold-medal winning time of 56:05.
“It was a very good race and my team helped me a lot,” said Lefebvre at the finish line. “Working with my coach, our strategy was to stay together as a group on the bike, and to move strongly into the run with some spare time. My team worked really hard and it’s because of them that I won today.”
In the Olympic age group race, Penticton's Tom Evans set the pace for the men with a time of 1:58:21, with Calvin Zaryski of Calgary second in 2:02:00. Kelowna's Chad Reid was fourth overall and first in the men's age group in 2:03:20.
Kelowna's Malinda Elmore was first in the women's Olympic race in 2:12:12, while Vancouver's Stephanie Kieffer was second in 2:13:28.
Kelowna's Laurelee Welder won the women's 55 to 59 age class in 2:33:09.
Matt Fieldwalker of Vancouver won the age group sprint—750 km swim, 20 km bike, 10 km run— in 1:03:06, while Dave Kirk was Kelowna's top competitor taking 11th in 1:08:00.
Vancouver's Sarah Brown won the women's sprint title in 1:10:06.
Kelowna's Gayanne Pacholzuk won the women's 45 to 49 age group in 1:16:54.
West Kelowna's Team Fresh Air won the Olympic distance corporate relay.
For complete Apple Traithlon results, visit www.raceheadquarters.com.