Sports » Features

Squamish triathlon draws record turnout



Despite the fact it had to compete with the World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton last weekend, the fourth annual Squamish Triathlon on July 22 shattered all previous attendance records.

More than 430 athletes turned out to the 2001 event, compared to just over 300 entries a year ago.

"It’s been increasing every year. We weren’t sure how many people we would lose to the World Championships, so many people have qualified, but this was our best year ever," says Peter Hotston, an organizer for the event.

Hotston credits the increasing numbers to the growing reputation of the Squamish Triathlon and to the growing popularity of the sport itself.

"You can tell by the excellent times that people have been training," he said.

Although Darren Mealing of Delta, B.C. started off almost two minutes back of Greg Stubbs after the 1.5 kilometre swim, he gained in the 40 km bike and 10 km run to win this year’s Squamish Triathlon with a time of 1 hour, 58 minutes. He finished third the previous year.

Second place went to Paul Cross of Vancouver who posted top 10 performances in every leg to finish 1:59:00. Stubbs, from Victoria, held on to finish third overall with a time of 2:00:37.

In the women’s competition, Victoria’s Melanie McQuaid – a veteran of the Xterra off-road triathlon circuit and a pro road racer and mountain biker – finished well ahead of the competition with a time of 2:06:26. Kristine Chambers of Vancouver was second overall with a time of 2:08:40, and Yvonne Timewell of Port Moody was third in 2:09:24.

Squamish’s own Gordon Addison was the big story of the day, racing in the World Championships the day before and finishing 26 th , then flying back to Vancouver and racing the Squamish Triathlon with only two hours sleep. He finished first in the men’s 35 to 39 division, and sixth overall with a time of 2:02:00.

Dozens of Whistler racers competed in the Squamish Triathlon, with strong overall results. Paul Suter was the fastest entry, finishing 50 th overall and seventh in the Men’s 40 to 44 race with a time of 2:13:21.

Daniel Havens was the next Whistlerite in the category with a time of 2:20:39.

Paul Nichols finished 76 th overall with a time of 2:17:43 in the 30 to 34 competition.

David Higgins finished 88 th overall in the same division, crossing the line in 2:19:55. Sandy Treagus finished in 2:35:39, and Jason Simpson in 2:44:31.

Francois Fournier posted a time of 2:19:26 in the 25 to 29 race.