Top sports stories of 2016: Heather Wurtele

Kelowna triathlete wins five major races, including North American 70.3 title

Heather Wurtele successfully defended her North American 70.3 triathlon crown in 2016.

Heather Wurtele raised her triathlon game to a whole new level in 2016.

The Kelowna athlete enjoyed her most productive season on the international circuit, highlighted by successfully defending her title at the 70.3 North American Championship.

In May in Utah, Wurtele persevered through rainy conditions to capture the Ironman 70.3 St. George triathlon by well over a minute.

“All day long, it was a battle,” Wurtele said. “I was pushing max, max, max the whole time, plus it was pouring down rain. This course keeps you honest, I’ll tell you that.”

Wurtele served notice in March in Mexico she was headed for a strong year in 2016, taking Ironman 70. 3 Monterrey.

She dominated the bike leg of the race en route to winning by more than four minutes.

In Monterrey, Heather’s spouse, Trevor Wurtele, captured the men’s silver medal.

And just two weeks later, Heather was back in form, capturing the Ironman 70.3 California title in Oceanside, CA by more than two minutes.

“There are just so many strong athletes here that it was just pushing all day, and I was really happy that my body cooperated and let me push that hard,” she said.

Wurtele also won Ironman 70.3 Victoria and Challenge Iceland, and captured bronze at the 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.