Jeff Symonds edged Brock Hoel in a record-setting time to win the fifth Cherry Blossom Triathlon. -Image: Luke Way

Jeff Symonds edged Brock Hoel in a record-setting time to win the fifth Cherry Blossom Triathlon. -Image: Luke Way

Records fall at Cherry Blossom Triathlon

Penticton’s Jeff Symonds and Kelowna’s Vanessa Tilson were the pace setters at the 2018 edition of the Fresh Air Cherry Blossom Triathlon.

Symonds (30-34) won the men’s race in record time Sunday morning in Kelowna, with a clocking of 59 minutes 38 seconds.

Kelowna’s Brock Hoel (1-19) was a close second, completing the 700m pool swim, 20K bike ride and 5K run in a time of 59:57.

Both athletes eclipsed the former record by Nathan Champness of Kamloops who timed in at 1:01.35 in 2016.

Penticton’s David Matheson, the top athlete in the 45 to 49 division, was third overall in 1:05.21.

In the women’s race, Tilson (25-29) posted a new record time of 1:09:03, breaking the former mark set by Jen Annett.

West Kelowna’s Emanuela Bandol was second among female racers in 1:10.43, while Kelowna’s Carmelle Guidi-Swan (45-49) was third and 20th overal in 1:12:59.

With 200 individual finishers, 15 teams and a record number of entries for the fifth annual event, the Cherry Blossom Triathlon continues to grow in popularity and scope.

“We’re definitely committed going forward,” said Malindi Elmore, one of the race organizers. “We’re looking to broaden our reach

“It was a great day, with lots of smiles, so we’re very happy with the way it went.”

For complete results of the 2018 event, go to cherryblossomtriathlon.com

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