By Andrew Mitchell
The rain held off for most of the younger runners but made the roads a little slick for the adult start, as the Whistler Triathlon Club hosted the third annual Kids of Steel triathlon and inaugural adult Try-A-Tri on Saturday morning.
Numbers were solid, with close to 80 kids and 41 adults taking part. Dozens of volunteers and sponsors also donated their time and money to the event. The triathlon club’s goal is to get more people involved in triathlons, build the events, and build the capacity of the community to be able to host some longer distance events.
The winner of the Adult Try-A-Tri was an experienced triathlete, newly moved to Whistler from Brisbane to work on the Nordic Centre facilities. Ben Hann swam the 300 metres in 4:36, biked 14 km in 33:41, and ran 4 km in 17:08 for a total time of 55:25. Hann said he was using the event to train for upcoming triathlons, including the provincial championships.
Second place belonged to Justine Boulin of Coquitlam in 57:55, following a 8:29 swim, a 34:14 bike and blistering 15:12 run — averaging a kilometre every 3:48.
Melanie Day also had a solid race, placing third overall. The swim was her strongest event, with 12 lengths of the pool in 5:28. Her bike was 35:42, and run 19:17 for a total time of 1:00:27.
In the Kids of Steel, the fastest time belonged to Whistler Secondary student Stephen Chelli, who swam 500 metres, biked 14 km and ran 4 km in a total time of 56:47 to place first in 16 to 18 age category. The next fastest time went to Pemberton’s Kai Riess in the 14 to 15 age group, with a time of 59:12.
Only a handful of girls competed that were older than 13, but on the full length course the win went to Marlin Beswetherick in the 14 to 15 category with a time of 1:21:23.
For kids 12-13 — who raced a 300 metre swim, 10 km bike and 3 km run — the fastest boy was Sean Macdougall of Vancouver in 40:59, and fastest girl was West Vancouver’s Sofi Leroux in 45:11. Kerry-Anne Hamilton was the fastest Whistler racer in 1:03:09.
For kids 8 to 9 —100 metre swim, 4.5 km bike and 1.5 km run — the top female was Whistler’s Gabrielle Smith 28:53 and the top male was Nolan Welsh in 27:23. In the 10 to 11 group, which raced the same distance, Victoria’s Natassja Marc was the top female in 23:38, and Whistler’s Nolan Welsh was the top male in 22:26.