The weather was perfect for the 16th annual Squamish Triathlon: A Memorial to Bob McIntosh on Sunday, July 7, and although temperatures were in the mid-20s for the final run stage the fact that the last part took place on trails in the Cheekye Fan meant there was shade to be had.
Before the race the organizers were forced to issue an advisory to athletes that Alice Lake might be too warm for wetsuits, forcing swimmers to use swimsuits instead to avoid overheating. But some cool weather and rain helped and the water temperature stayed at 21 degrees Celsius. One degree higher and Triathlon BC regulations would have kicked in.
There were two events this year, a traditional Olympic distance race with a 1,500 metre swim, 37km bike and 10km run, as well as a new sprint category with a 750-metre swim, 18.5km bike and 5km run.
In the Olympic distance event, Richard Pearson was the fastest racer with a total time of one hour, 51 minutes and 51 seconds. Pearson was first out of the water in 19:55, and overcame a crash on the ride down out of Alice Lake to win that stage as well with a time of 54:07. He was second on the run in 37:50.
Another Australian racer, Reece Edwards, placed second in 1:53:18. He was fifth on the swim, third on the bike and then first on the run by a solid margin with a time of 35:44. Third place went to Nathan Killam of Surrey in 1:56:24. He was fourth out of the water, second on the bike leg and then third on the run.
Pearson and Edwards were also first and second in the male 20 to 24 category, while Killam was first in male 25 to 29.
Rachel McBride — one of Canada's top triathletes, placing third at the ITU Long Distance World Championships only a month before — was the top female racer. She placed seventh overall in 2:04:25, and posted the third-fastest swim leg of the day.
Squamish's Brandi Heisterman, who's competing for Canada in off-road triathlons, finished a solid 12th overall in 2:08:33. After that there was a bit of a gap before Victoria's Sonja Flutehally crossed the line in 2:20:19.
Paolo Pagnotta was the top male Clydesdale racer in 2:20:20, while Renee Brickner was the top Athena in 2:50:56.
There were several Whistler racers in the mix as well, including a few racers that finished on the podium.
Ashley McMillan, who is training for his first Ironman, finished fifth in male 35 to 39 in 2:19:10.
Bob Deeks was second in male 50 to 54 in 2:21:33.
Marla Zucht was first in female 40 to 44 in 2:26:25.
John Blok was first in male 55 to 59 in 2:29:48.
Christopher Den Tandt was third in Clydesdale in 2:34:52.
Andrew Ellott was seventh in male 45 to 49 in 2:42:52.
Emma Bishop was fifth in female 25 to 29 in 2:45:06.
Mandy Hamilton was sixth in female 25 to 29 in 2:48:57.
Brodie Huggins was 10th in male 25 to 29 in 2:58:11.
Catherine Batchelor was third in Athena in 3:55:19.
The team relays is always competitive and this year was no exception.
The local Tri Hards team was first for men's teams in 2:16:58, followed by Vancouver's Super Siblings (racing mixed class) in 2:17:33 and Team No Team, also mixed, in 2:25:32.
Second and third for men's teams were Team Advil in 2:26:52 and Team Nifty Fifty in 2:54:03. The third mixed team were the Mountain Cheetarex Goats in 2:26:52. The top three women's teams were Go Chickens in 2:40:38, Squampton Scorchers in 2:42:45 and Momma Bears in 2:55:23. All three were from Squamish.
In the sprint race the top three were Vancouver's Matt Fieldwalker in 1:05:25, followed by Squamish's Lenka Fanturova in 1:13:53 and Andrew Clegg in 1:14:14. The third male was Marc Porter of Vancouver in 1:15:37, while Megan MacDonald of Pitt Meadows and Allison Bernat of Vancouver were second and third for women in 1:19:37 and 1:19:54.
Results at www.raceheadquarters.com.