If only Malindi Elmore had known how close she was to grabbing gold, the former Olympian assures she would have pushed a smidgen harder over the last few metres.
As it was, the 32-year-old from Kelowna settled for second best, a mere two seconds back of winner Sarah MacArthur of Calgary in the women’s Olympic-distance race Sunday at the 31st annual Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon.
Elmore, who was also runner-up last year, completed the 1.5 km swim, 40 km bike ride and 10 km run in two hours 15 minutes and 30 seconds. MacArthur finished in 2:15:28.
Because the two racers went off in different waves, neither had any idea how close they were to the winning time.
“I knew I was at the front of my wave, so I just wanted to run comfortably and finish the race strong,” Elmore said. “If I had known there was someone two seconds ahead of me, I definitely would have sprinted the last 100 metres…but at that point it’s a figurative person at that point, so what can you do.”
Still, Elmore was pleased with the final result, bettering her mark from 2012 by close to three minutes.
“That’s a good improvement for me,” she said. “Right now, I’m doing this mostly for fun but I’m still very competitive and of course I want to do well.”
Vernon’s Nathan Champness won the Apple Triathlon’s Olympic distance overall title for the first time.
Champness, who was second last year and third in 2011, was the only competitor to break the two-hour barrier with a clocking of 1:59:39. It’s been a good summer for Champness who previously won the Desert Half Iron in Osoyoos and the Kal Rats Sprint in Vernon.
Victoria’s Carlos Lesser was second in 2:00:49, while Ryan Smiley of Vancouver was third in 2:02:39.
Penticton’s Tom Evans, a former three-time winner at the Apple and an ex-Ironman Canada champ, settled for sixth place overall while winning the men’s 45 to 49 age division in 2:03:05.
While not quite as fast as he once was, the 45-year-old Evans still loves competing at the Apple.
“This race is always great and that’s why I come back,” Evans said. “Good attendance, good organization, the volunteers, and the venue is perfect. It’s just an amazing event, no issues any time I’ve been here. I really enjoy it here.”
Kelowna’s Joe Wessel won the men’s 35-39 grouping in 2:08:29 and was 15th overall.
Lake Country’s Quinn Middleton won the men’s 18-19 category in 2:22:56, Kelowna’s Jack Wessel took the men’s 65-69 division in 2:37:33, Laurelee Nelson was first in the women’s 55 to 59 in 2:38:06.
Penticton’s Rural Jurors won the Olympic Relay event in 2:23:37.
In the sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20k bike, 5km run), Chilliwack’s Anthony Toth showed the way in 1:01:47, while Cochrane’s Alex Hansen grabbed second in 1:03:44.
The top Kelowna finisher was Jeffrey Cameron in 1:07:36.
The women’s winner was Alesha Miller of Vernon who was 24th overall in 1:12:55.
Among the age group winners was Heather Crawford of Kelowna who won the 55-59 women’s division in 1:23:23, and Joanne Mayer who won the 60-64 group in 1:44:15.
Pinnacle Physio won the Business Sprint Challenge in 1:18:28.
In Saturday’s junior elite sprint race, Michel Milic of Delta was the men’s winner in 1:00:14, while West Vancouver’s Grace Thompson topped the junior women in 1:08:09, while Vancouver’s Brodie Marshall won the U16 event.
Kelowna’s Michael Serani won the Tri-a-Try in 49:41.
The annual Kids of Steel event drew big numbers as close to 200 competitors took part in the five age groups.
Jaxon Slaney of Kelowna won the 10-11 age group in 25:46.
Kelowna athletes were second and third in the 12-13 division as Olivia Baldassare finished as the runner-up in 46:43, while Ben Main won bronze in 47:18.
Close to 1,000 competitors took part in the weekend’s events at the 2013 Apple.
For complete results from the Apple Triathlon, visit sportstats.ca.