Participants in the Whistler Kids of Steel Triathlon and Adult Super Sprint on Saturday, May 25 enjoyed some of the best racing conditions in years with sun from the start and low winds on the hilly bike ride.
The Kids of Steel Race was open to kids as young as eight, and course lengths varied depending on age.
Kids in the 8 to 9 and 10 to 11 age group tackled a short course with a 100-metre swim (four lengths of the pool), followed by a two-kilometre bike leg and a one-kilometre run.
Kaila Lanfreniere won the girls' 8 to 9 group in 15:44, followed by Sofie Hill of Squamish in 19:04 and Corinne Haasen of Whistler in 20:29.
Jaden Legate won the boys' 8 to 9 race in 17:07, followed by Mason Gautrey in 18:26 and Daniel Gannon in 18:28.
In the girls' 10 to 11 group, Laiken Greffard of Surrey was first in 15:52, followed by Whistler's Samantha Deally in 16:58 and Olivia Ellott in 17:02.
For the boys' 10 to 11 race, Matthias Shorter of Whistler was first in 16:32, followed by Stephen Lindsay-Ross in 19:05 and Tyler Ng of Brackendale in 20:47.
The 12 to 13 boys and girls raced a course that included a 300-metre swim, 10km bike and 3km run.
For the girls, Ainsley Greffard of Surrey was first in 41:36, followed by Jennifer Lafreniere in 45:03 and Aoife Gannon in 50:55. Wyatt Schnare was first for the boys in 40:25, followed by Alec Coleman of West Vancouver in 44:27 and Eric Smith of Whistler in 44:31.
The 14-15 athletes went the same distances, although the girls had two options of bike lengths.
In the girls' long bike category (10km), Isobelle Williston of Squamish was first in 51:50, followed by Lauren Benedict of Nanaimo in 55:11. On the short bike course, Tessa Schnare of Surrey was the only racer, finishing in 45:07.
For the boys, Edward Coleman of West Vancouver was first in 42:03, followed by Evan Durrant of Langley in 42:34 and Zachary Yamaoka of West Vancouver in 45:30.
In the 16 to 18 category, athletes swam 500 metres, biked 14km and ran 4km. Peter Wieck of West Vancouver was the sole male racer in 1:45:41, while the lone female was Anna Yamaoka of West Vancouver in 1:01:48.
In the Adult Super Sprint, Edgar Alejandro Mujica was the top male in 56:40, followed by Satoshi Tamaki of Whistler in 1:00:00 flat, and Ian McCabe of Ladner in 1:02:39. Shannon Berardo of North Vancouver was the top female in 54:47, followed by Vanessa Brown of Calgary in 1:01:19 and Nadine Boudreau-Beland of Whistler in 1:06:32.
All results are at www.webscorer.com.
Strand Third in Oregon Enduro Series
The results for the annual Nimby Fifty race in Pemberton were missing a few familiar names this year, a result of an unlikely conflict with the opening event in the Oregon Enduro Series, which also doubled as the opening event in a larger North American Enduro Tour.
Enduro racing is an increasingly popular take on mountain bike racing, with riders following a longer course that includes a variety of everything, and where only the downhill and most technical sections are timed.
The opening event was a seven-stage, two-day race at Hood River and according to reports there were 340 athletes taking part. There were some issues with timing that delayed the podium and posting of results until May 31.
Several Whistler riders took part, including Katrina Strand. She placed third overall in the pro women's category, despite a few tough breaks.
For example, the course was really wet and slippery for the training day but things did start to dry out on the race day — however, it was hard to know how much traction you would actually have, which made it difficult to judge speed and turns. "It became a bit of a mind game, but it was really fun," said Strand.
On her first day of racing, Strand also had to deal with a mechanical issue, a crash and getting stuck behind some slower riders. Day two went better, but she had to race one short section with a stick jammed between her rear rotor and brake that slowed her down. When all was said and done she was surprised to find she was on the podium.
"I would have been happy (to be in third) even if my race was close to perfect because those girls are quick and fit and they know how to ride bikes," she said.
Because of coaching and her commitments to mountain bike publications Strand won't be able to participate in many other North American Enduro Tour events, but said she enjoys the format.
"All of the other races I've done have built me up to this point where I can race these kinds of events, so I'm really fortunate," she said. "It's just really social with all the competitors riding together in between stages, and you come out of a weekend like this with five new friends that you know you're going to keep in touch with — that's the best part about it. Everyone is really serious and into it, but at the same time there's an attitude that it's just mountain biking and it's meant to be social and amicable with a lot of camaraderie. I've felt that before other races, but not to this extent.
"This is almost how a lot of us really ride our bikes, we take our time going up and talk to each other and then race down. It's like going for a ride with friends, the only difference is that in an enduro there's a timing chip."
Jesse Melamed placed 11th in the pro men's category, while Matt Ryan was a few places back in a field that included several professional, international enduro riders. Results from other Whistler riders were not available at press time due to the timing issues but will be posted next week.