Vancouver's Rachel McBride turned in a record-setting performance to claim a repeat victory in this year's Squamish Triathlon, held Sunday, July 6.
McBride set the new female Olympic-distance course mark, as well as the new fastest times on the bike and run legs, in capturing the women's title for the second year in a row. McBride finished the entire route in two hours, 38 seconds, and established the new bike and run records at 58:51 and 40:54, respectively.
When asked what helped her to the unprecedented times on Sunday, McBride said she went into the bike course with a plan to attack the uphill sections with a little more intensity.
"I think that's what really made the huge difference," she said.
"It's a bit of a risk pushing so hard on the bike and red-lining it a little bit more than I usually do."
Fellow Vancouver resident Christine Fletcher notched the second-fastest time among all female racers on Sunday, reaching the finish line in 2:08:31. Squamish's own Zoe Dawson rounded the women's overall podium, clocking a time of 2:13:57 while topping her 25-29 age group.
In the men's event, Chilliwack triathlete Robert Johnson broke the tape in 1:54:38 for the fastest overall time of the day on a course that featured a 1.5-kilometre swim, 37-km bike and 10-km run route.
Johnson, who was racing the memorial race to Bob McIntosh for the third time, managed to take the lead away from Vancouver's Ryan Smiley at the second transition.
"I've really struggled on this course the last two years and not had good races, so to come out and win was great," said Johnson. "I wanted to have a good race here, so I'm happy."
North Vancouver's Dylan Gleeson finished in 1:56:09 to take second place, while Smiley earned third spot, finishing another 41 seconds back.
Martin Caron earned the top finish by a Sea to Sky participant, as the Garibaldi Highlands resident finished 12th overall and third in his 35-39 age division at 2:09:01. He and Dawson were among several Squamish-area triathletes to place in the top 20 overall. Also completing that feat were Mark Toijanen (16th, 2:12:37), Colin Green (17th, 2:13:28) and John Axsen (20th, 2:16:07).
Jon Decaigny turned in the best finish by a Whistler competitor, placing 28th overall while clocking a time of 2:19:56. Fellow resort residents Bob Deeks (36th, 2:25:23) and Simon Blake (38th, 2:25:51) also cracked the overall top 40, as did Marla Zucht (2:26:11), who was the top Whistler female, finishing seventh among all women competing.
Squamish's Tri Hards (2:04:23) were the winning relay team.
The event also hosted a sprint course, with distances equaling half of the Olympic course. Delta's Michael Milic (1:01:07) and Vancouver's Tiffany Bilodeau (1:12:41) were the top male and female, respectively. The top local finish belonged to Andrew Clegg, who was eighth overall at 1:12:43, while Chris Bowen (1:12:58) was 10th overall and first in his 25-29 age group.
Squamish's Sara Hamilton was third among all women at 1:24:32, while Whistler's Lucy Pocock was ninth at 1:31:32.
Visit www.squamishtriathlon.org to access full results.
—with files from John French