A Kelowna man took top spot in the sprint distance of the Peach Classic Triathlon, but it was a Penticton bike shop that was the MVP.
“It’s definitely been an eventful day,” said Jake Van Allen who crossed the finish line first overall in Penticton on Sunday. “I only had one wheel for my bike because I accidentally forgot one at home. The folks at Bike Barn sorted me out so a big shout out to them.”
Van Allen drove to Penticton on race morning and it wasn’t until he went to pull his bike out that he noticed a wheel was missing.
“Yeah, it was sitting in my driveway at home. I had a bit of a panic attack and I am so lucky that I even got to race. I walked over to the Bike Barn guys and asked if they had a spare. They ran right over to their shop and hooked me up,” said Van Allen who crossed the finish line with a time of 1:06:12. (To search results click here)
Coming out of the 0.8 kilometre swim in third place overall, Van Allen put his borrowed wheel to work in the 20 km bike ride. He clocked the fastest times in both the bike (33:32) and the five km run (19:47)
“It is a tough bike course because of the hills, you get tired quickly and you really have to push through it,” said Van Allen. “I already had a hard time mentally getting into the race because of what happened, but I led through most of the bike and the whole run.”
Kelowna athletes rounded out the top three with teen Owen Harris earning first in the men’s 16-19 category and second overall with a time of 1:10:03. Ian Sharp finished in third with a time of 1:11:55.
A pair of Olympians were also competing in the Peach Classic sprint distance. Helen Upperton, a two-time Olympic Winter Games bobsleigh pilot that won a silver medal at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, finished second in the female 35-39 category and in 39 spot overall. She clocked in a 1:32:37 race time.
Jeff Christie, who represented Canada at the Olympics in Turin and Vancouver in men’s singles luge, turned in a 1:39:24 race time. He finished 58th overall and sixth in the male 30-34 category at the Peach Classic Triathlon.
The first Penticton athlete across the finish line was Scott McMillan, clocking in a 1:14:03 time which was good for sixth place overall and second in the men’s 40-44 age category. Sarah McMillan was the first local female across the finish line, third overall and first in the women’s 40-44 age category, with a time of 1:19:19.