Kelowna's Heather Wurtele strides to victory for the second year in a row at Ironman 70.3 St. George.

Wurtele repeats as North American champ

Kelowna triathlete overcomes rain, opponents to win Ironman 70.3 St. George

  • Mon May 9th, 2016 3:00pm
  • Sports

Make it two consecutive 70.3 North American Championship wins for Heather Wurtele.

The Kelowna triathlete persevered through rainy conditions to successfully defend her Ironman 70.3 St. George title on Saturday in Utah.

Down by more than 90 seconds early the race, Wurtele steadily reeled in the leaders before taking over top spot on the bike ride with a solid 2:22:33 split.

Saturated by the downpour, Wurtele and Britain’s Holly Lawrence began the run together, but the Kelowna athlete pulled away to win by well over a minute in 4:16:48.

“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.”

It was Wurtele’s fourth win overall at St. George, the first two coming at the full Ironman distance.

In addition to picking up the winner’s share of the prize purse, Wurtele also secured a berth in the the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championships this fall in Queensland, Australia.

Canadian Lionel Sanders won the men’s race in St. George in 3:48:18.

Heather Wurtele’s husband, Trevor Wurtele, placed sixth overall in 3:56:00.