Youth ruled the day at the inaugural Langford Triathlon on Sunday around Langford Lake and Metchosin, as two of the youngest athletes competing captured the Olympic and sprint distance titles.
Greater Victoria’s Connor Foreman ran a consistent race to take top spot at the Olympic distance, finishing in a time of one hour, 55 minutes, six seconds to edge fellow local Adam O’Meara by exactly one minute.
Victoria athlete Aimeson King, like Foreman competing in the men’s 20-24 age category, was third overall in 2:03.21, followed in order by Langford native son Larry Wilson (2:13.45, men’s 40-44) and Hansie De Kock (2:17.32, men’s 45-49).
The top woman was Victoria’s Kaileen McCulloch (women’s 20-24), who timed in at 2:25.54 to finish seventh overall.
The 21 year old Foreman, the 2013 third-place finisher in the national junior triathlon championships, was second out of the water, about a minute behind fellow Victorian Aimeson King for the 1,500-metre swim. But Foreman was fastest on the 40-kilometre bike route, passing King and adding a bit more distance between himself and O’Meara, who was third out of the lake.
A 10K run time of 35:59 around the Ed Nixon Trail, slightly faster than O’Meara’s 36:10, gave Foreman a relatively comfortable victory margin.
Race organizer Stephanie Carter of Westshore Triathlon said the order of finish wasn’t necessarily unusual, given the race experience of the top three.
“I think the biggest surprise for everyone was that it was a non-wetsuit swim, although everyone’s always got their fingers crossed that it’ll be warm enough,” she said.
The unseasonably warm lake temperature brought Triathlon B.C. rules into play and meant competitors wouldn’t have the added buoyancy provided by the suits. Carter said the difference was likely around four minutes for the top competitors.
The Olympic distance race saw 42 of 47 athletes finish. The sprint distance race, a common first race for rookie triathletes, saw 81 people – 46 women and 35 men – tackle the start and 72 finish. The course was exactly half the distance of the Olympic version.
Greater Victoria’s Brennen Smith crossed the line first in one hour, five minutes and 23 seconds, more than four minutes ahead of Calgary competitor Stefan Daniel, who timed in at 1:09.49. Both men were competing in the 19-under category.
Greater Victoria’s Barbara Rober (age 25-29 division) was the fastest women’s finisher in the sprint event, clocking 1:22.01 to take third overall. Following her in order were Victoria’s Flemming Sorvin (1:22.06, men’s 45-49) and Lesley Hartford (female age 50-54) of Mill Bay, whose time of 1:22.19 placed her second among women.
For an inaugural race, Carter said, the triathlon was “a great success.”
“We had a lot of positive feedback from the people who were doing their first triathlon, and I got lots of positive feedback from people who were doing the Olympic distance,” she said. “Pretty much everybody I talked to said they’d be coming back next year.”
Adding in the nine people who competed on relay teams at the Olympic distance, the entry total of 137 was a solid first effort, Carter added.
For full results, visit sportstats.ca, the click on results and scroll down to Langford Triathlon.