By Andrew Mitchell
Whistler’s triathlon community has grown a lot in the last few years, in numbers and stature.
From 2004 to 2006 the only Whistler athlete taking part each year in the Personal Oliver Half Iron was Greg Sandkuhl. This year he was joined by 15 local athletes, in addition to the three athletes that competed in the Victoria Half Iron the previous weekend.
The temperature was hot and humid, climbing to 36 degrees by the midway point of the race. The course included a 2 km swim, a 93 km bike, and a 21.1 km run.
Whistler’s fastest athlete was David Higgins, who placed 16 th overall and fifth in the men’s 35 to 39 age category with a time of 4:43:41.
Bob Deeks placed 33 rd overall and fourth out of 72 racers in the men’s 45 to 49 group with a time of 4:56:01.
Paul Suter was 44 th overall and sixth in the same age category with a time of 5:01:11.
Marie-Anne Prevost won the women’s 35 to 39 age category, was 54 th overall and fifth among women with her time of 5:04:13.
John Blok was 92 nd overall and sixth in the men’s 50 to 54 category in 5:16:37.
Greg Sandkuhl was solid once again, placing second in the men’s 60 to 64 category in 5:19:02.
Finishing just six seconds and one spot back of Sandkuhl was Christine Suter, who was seventh out of 56 athletes in the women’s 35 to 39 group.
Christine Cogger finished sixth out of 47 participants in the women’s 30 to 34 race with a time of 5:29:17.
Alisa Brownlee was eighth in the women’s 40 to 44 group in 5:35:17.
Chris Hodkinson was 23 rd in men’s 35 to 39 in 5:37:22.
Liz Cullen was eighth in women’s 25 to 29 in 5:50:05.
Brandi Higgins was 15 th in women’s 35 to 39 in 5:54:16.
Megan Wastle was 20 th in women’s 30 to 34 in 6:08:49.
Jackie Fulton was 33 rd in women’s 40 to 44 in 6:32:55.
Francesca Cole was 26 th in women’s 45 to 49 in 6:57:02.
Grace Blok was 25 th in women’s 50 to 54 in 7:23:34.
The Oliver Half Iron is a qualifier for Ironman Canada. Prevost was the lone Whistler athlete to make the cut, with only one or two open spots per age category, but passed it up this year.