The Kelowna Apple Triathlon made a triumphant return on the weekend.
After two years off, the triathlon, doubling as the Canadian National Triathlon Championships, saw two new faces take the men’s and women’s titles.
Jeremy Briand, a 24-year-old from Montreal, clocked a winning time of 52:11.0 in a sprint finish over fellow Canadian Russell Pennock (Calgary) on the men’s side.
“It feels unreal,” said Briand. “I’ve had a lot of injuries over the past few seasons, so winning nationals was a big goal of mine, and I am over the moon.
“I knew the swim would be critical for me because the field knew I was a good runner. I played my cards well and was able to have open water for the whole swim.”
Earlier in the day, Karol-Ann Roy continued her breakout season by locking up her first Canadian national title by being the first woman across the finish line, finishing in fifth-place overall.
“I am super happy with my race and to be the first Canadian (woman) to finish today,” said Roy, who was recently named to Canada’s 2019 Pan American Games squad.
“The first five minutes on the bike was the key for me today. I was able to make up the gap and get to the front for the whole bike. That set me up for a really good run, so I’m happy.”
Other winners included Kyla Roy (Winnipeg) and Charles Paquet (Port Cartier, Que.) in the under-23 Canadian category, and Alexandrine Coursol (St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que.) and West Kelowna’s Brock Hoel in the the junior category.
The Apple Triathlon returned this year after heavy smoke from forest fires in other parts of B.C. cancelled last years race at the last minute and the organizers took what they called a “hiatus” in 2017.