The Squamish Triathlon went down under for 2013.
The top two times in the Olympic distance race at the 16th annual event were snagged by a pair of Australians at Sunday's (July 7) race.
Richard Pearson and Reece Edwards, both from Coffs Harbour, Australia, were first and second respectively and Pearson set a new course record of 1:51:51.
“I had a really good swim and was doing well in the bike until this happened,” he said, pointing to a scrap on his face. “But I got back on my bike and continued on.”
Pearson shook off the crash near Alice Lake and maintained the lead he built in the swim for the remainder of the race. He and Edwards signed up for the event this past Wednesday and the duo have been on a cross-continent race adventure this summer.
“We've been thinking about coming to Squamish for a while now and it all worked out,” he said, noting it's the duo's fifth race this summer. “Overall this was a good race and was really well organized.”
He said he and Edwards have competed in races in Sacramento, Boise and other places on the West Coast and will continue doing so until returning home in the fall. Pearson's time shattered the 2010 record of 1:54:11 set by Ian Young. Edwards placed second with a time of 1:53:18, with Nathan Killam of Surrey finishing third at 1:56:24.
The top local male was Volker Schneider, who finished 13th overall with a time of 2:09:12. He said he had a great time at the event despite a slower time than last year.
“It was another great event and super well-organized,” he said. “I was a little bit slower than last year but I've been trying for the Ironman [in Whistler] and my legs felt a little heavy.”
Other local males with strong showings included: Chris Bishop (15th), Marko Toijanen (16th), Roger Shirt (21st), Richard Avedon-Savage (28th) and Travis Kubin (56th).
It was also a record-breaking day in the women's division, with Vancouver's Rachel McBride setting a new mark of 2:04:25. McBride crushed the old record by over four minutes and her time was the seventh fastest on the day.
“It was awesome out there today,” she said. “I raced in 2009 and every year since I've tried to come back. I love Squamish and was super excited to come back.”
Brackendale's Brandi Heisterman also had a strong race but failed to retain her championship with McBride in the field. Regardless, she had the 12th fastest time and once again was the fastest local female. She was also the fastest local overall in this year's event. Heisterman bested her winning time last year by three minutes, finishing the course in 2:08:33.
“The swim is my weakness and I knew she [McBride] could really crush me in it,” Heisterman said. “I pushed hard in the bike and run but just couldn't catch her.”
Split times show Heisterman trailed McBride by three minutes and 20 seconds after the swim but was only a minute behind her in the bike and beat her out by 14 seconds in the run. Heisterman will now prepare for her next X-Terra event in Colorado later this month.
Other local females with strong times included: Cristina McKean (35th), Renee Brickner (81st), Leigh Gabel (83rd), Julie Morris (92nd) and Barbara Brigidear (100th).
This year also marked the debut of the Sprint race to the event and Vancouver's Matt Fieldwalker dominating, beating out the second place racer by over eight minutes. He completed the course in 1:05:28 to secure the win.
Squamish's Lenka Fanturova had the second fastest time overall and was the fastest female with a time of 1:13:53. Third place was Squamish's Andrew Clegg, who posted a time of 1:14:14. Other strong local showings included: Wes McVey (6th), John Dearie (12th), Jeff Norman (13th), Sean O'Keefe (25th) and Raif Strub (31st).
The Relay competition saw 23 different teams split duties, with the Tri Hard from Brackendale posting the top time. A total of 133 individuals took part in the Olympic race, with 78 taking on the Sprint challenge.
For complete results from the race, visit www.raceheadquarters.com/results/rhqResultsMulti.php#jul.