Local triathletes had to keep a watchful eye out for wildlife last weekend as they took their skills off road near the McCulloch Lake resevoir.
More than 60 adventurous triathletes took their skills off-road at the second annual XTerra Kelowna Triathlon at McCulloch Lake and Kelowna Nordic Ski Club under a sunny Okanagan sky last weekend.
The off-road event comprised four independent events: A full triathlon (1,200m swim, 25km bike and 8km run), a sport triathlon (600m swim, 15km bike and 4km run), a full duathlon (4.5km run, 25km bike and 8km run) and a sport duathlon (2.5km run, 15km bike and 4km run).
West Kelowna resident, Ian Crosthwaite took first place in the full triathlon in a new course record of two hours, five minutes, 53 seconds, breaking his own 2010 record.
Kelowna’s Kari Bailey continued her spectacular racing season, with another course record in the women’s race in a time of 2:24:35.
What makes Bailey’s achievement more impressive is that although she’s an avid mountain biking participant, this was her first off-road triathlon. “The bike and run routes along the Nordic Cross-Country ski trails were bumpy but not technical and therefore made it achievable for the novice athlete,” she said. “This event was a nice alternative to the typical road triathlon. This was more fun than any other triathlon I have done before.”
In the sport triathlon Carla Peters took first place in the female category in 1:28:43. Eli Budwill finished in first place in male and overall in 1:17:41.
“The race was both challenging and enjoyable,” said Budwill, a Kamloops resident. “All aspects of the race had a twist of difficulty but with aid stations and a little bit of encouragement along the way the race was a great challenge and a lot of fun.
Vernon’s Eric Byram led the pack in the sport duathlon with another course record set by Monica McCosh as leading female. The full duathlon was won by well-known Kelowna cyclist Axel Merckx and Melissa Lowenberg came in as fastest female.
Xterra is a series of off-road triathlon races, which include open water swimming, mountain biking and trail running where bear and other animal sightings is always a possibility. Organized by Kelowna’s endurance coach Rob Swan and Carmelle Guidi-Swan of Critical Performance Endurance Sports, the event attracted more than sixty adventurous triathletes, doubling last year’s entries.