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Jen Segger third overall in Ultraman

Squamish distance runner fastest of 11 women



Another weekend, another feat of strength for Squamish's Jen Segger.

The long-distance racer recently completed the three-day Ultraman Canada race in Penticton, placing third out of 27 finishers and first of 11 women.

The first day of the race included a 10-kilometre swim and a 144.8 km bike leg, followed by a 273.5 km bike on day two. Day three was back-to-back marathons, a total running distance of 84.4 km.

By way of comparison, a conventional Ironman race features a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42.2 km run.

Segger, who had to teach herself to swim before the event, finished with a combined time of 26 hours, 59 minutes and 29 seconds - just over 20 minutes back of first place. She also accomplished it with one of the slower swim times on the list, almost an hour behind Charlie Ernst, who set a new course record this year with a time of 2:32:28.

The overall winner was John Bergen in 23:48:29, followed by Roberto Parseghian in 26:38:54.

"I would say this race was more about the journey to get there because it required me to learn a whole new sport in swimming, so there was a little more prep for this race and I was a little outside my comfort zone," said Segger. "I didn't know how I'd feel starting that swim that morning - I'd never swam 10km before."

She focused on gliding through the water and staying fed and hydrated by her support kayak, saving her effort for the two days on the bike and the long run on day three.

"I knew I wouldn't win the swim, I just had to get through it," she said. "There are some incredible athletes there, including long distance swimmers, and everybody had their strengths. I knew that for me it would come down to the run."

Segger was 16th out of the water and finished the day ranked fifth among women and 11th overall after passing some other athletes on the bike.

She continued to work her way up on the bike leg, but didn't have a triathlon bike with bars to lean on. She was passed by Joni Moore while riding and finished the second day 24 minutes back of Moore.

"On day three I just went hard off the line," she said. "I knew I couldn't win unless I made up the deficit, and I did that by the half marathon mark. After that I had the lead and thought I would be able to let up, but she kept pushing."

In the end, Moore placed fourth overall, 14-and-a-half minutes back of Segger.

The heat wasn't a factor and Segger didn't aggravate her injured ankle.

So far this season Segger has placed fourth overall among women in the GranFondo Kelowna, first among women in the Sinister 7 Ultra, first among women and second overall in the Scorched Sole 50km trail run, first in the Ultimate XC 58km trail run, 14th in the Oliver Half (her first triathlon), first in the Burnaby MOMAR adventure race, third among women in the North Face 100km Ultra in Australia, first in the Capitol Peaks 55km Trail Ultra (setting a new course record), first among women in the Coyote 2 Moons 100-miler, second among women in the Dirty Duo 25km Trail Race, second in the TCC Coastal Challenge six-day ultra in Costa Rica and first in the 4th Dimensions Winter Duathlon (run/bike/run) in Washington State.

Ultraman Canada is the last event she's entered this season and she declined her prize of a free entry to Ultraman Worlds in Hawaii.

"I don't think I'll do another one," she said. "This is just a bucket list item, one of the cool things I had to do. It feels great to be done and see what the rest of the year brings.

"It's time to get on my stand-up paddleboard and train how I feel. I need that mental break. I told myself, 'this is the last race of the year.'"



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