Not even a passing thunderstorm could slow down the hundreds of athletes who swam, biked and ran their way to success at the 15th annual Squamish Triathlon on Sunday (July 15).
The dark clouds and rumblings may have delayed the start of the race by 15 minutes but it didn't slow down Calgary's Stephen Hastings, who won the race with a time of 1:59:41.
“I was a little worried about being in the water during a storm but then the triathlon gods cleared it up for us out there,” he said following the race.
Hastings placed fourth at last year's triathlon and the former varsity swimmer shaved almost 13 seconds off of his swim time from last year. He had over a minute lead coming out of the waters of Alice Lake and never relinquished his lead.
Jeffrey Manson from Richmond placed second with a time of 2:01:18 and praised the event.
“It's a beautiful course and it's just challenging enough,” he said, noting he last took part in the race in 2010 where he finished seventh.
Unlike Hastings, Manson said he didn't mind what he saw in the sky.
“I was excited,” he said of the dark clouds and thunder early on. “I like that stuff. I just raced in Edmonton where it was way over 30 degrees, this is way better to race in.”
Manson came out of Alice Lake in third and then posted the top time in the cycling component. But he couldn't catch Hastings.
“He had a fantastic swim,” he said.
Sean Clark from Maple Ridge placed third, while the top local time was Brackendale's Volker Schneider, who placed fifth overall with a time of 2:08:53. Scheinder's ranking was the highest finish by a local since Peter Reid won the race back in 2007.
“It was one of my better races,” he said. “I wanted to go sub 2:10 and it looks like I did it. I'm very happy.”
Schneider made significant gains in the swim portion, cutting two minutes and 33 seconds off of his time in the water from last year. He attributed the improvement to a new wetsuit and working with the Squamish Titans to speed up his swimming.
Brackendale's Brandi Heisterman took home the top time for all females and posted the tenth best time overall. Heisterman said despite a “trepidatious” start to the event with the storm, it was a lot of fun.
“It was awesome, so much fun,” she said. “The swim was super peaceful compared to the XTerra. It was just a very well organized event and I was glad I improved in the swim and the run.”
Other top local finishers included: Chris Bishop (ninth), Lenka Fanturova (16th), Richard Avedon-Savage (23rd), Edgar Alejandro Mujica (32nd) and Connor Haberl (44th).
For complete results from the race, visit www.squamishtriathlon.org.