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Canadians tops in Ironman World Championships

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Whistler athletes finish strong

After coming close the past few years, Canada’s top triathletes were back on top in 2003 at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The husband and wife team of Peter Reid and Lori Bowden claimed the men’s and women’s titles, plus $100,000 US apiece.

This was Reid’s third World Championship title, after winning the hardest race in sports in 1998 and 2000. Bowden won the women’s title in 1999, and finished in the top-three for five years in a row.

Reid crossed the finish line in eight hours, 22 minutes and 35 seconds, nearly six minutes faster than Rutger Beke of Belgium. Cameron Brown of New Zealand was third in 8:30:08.

Reid, 34, finished the 3.7 kilometre swim in 20 th position, and followed up with the 12 th fastest time in the 180-km bike race and the second-fastest time in the 42.2-km run to regain the title. He moved up to the front of the pack in the first half of the run, passing Beke about 16 km into the last stage.

Bowden, 36, crossed the finish line in 9:11:55. Natascha Badmann of Switzerland and Nina Kraft of Germany made the race for second place interesting, finishing second and third with times of 9:17:08 and 9:17:16 respectively.

Whistler’s Paul Suter, 42, was competing in his first ever Ironman World Championships. His goal was just to finish, and gain experience in the race that he could use in future appearances. He finished in 11:11:39, 112 th in the 40 to 44 age category.

Mae Palm was fourth out of 15 entries in the women’s 60 to 64 age category with a time of 13:59:52. A world champion in 2001, this was Palm’s third appearance in the World Championships.

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