Blattmann defends triathlon title

Whitehorse’s Karl Blattmann was six minutes slower than last year, but he was still fast enough to win his second straight Whitehorse Triathlon, starting and ending at the Canada Games Centre.

Whitehorse’s Karl Blattmann was six minutes slower than last year, but he was still fast enough to win his second straight Whitehorse Triathlon, starting and ending at the Canada Games Centre on Sunday.

Blattmann completed the Olympic division’s 1,500-metre swim, 40-kilometre cycle and 10-kilometre run in two hours, 16 minutes and nine seconds.

His win didn’t come from a lack of stiff competition. Two-time champ Joel Macht came in just 1:20 behind him for second. Last year’s runner-up, Jud Deuling, was just 5:31 back from Blattmann and took third.

RELATED:See full results here.

“Joel and I had a great race on the bike and I got to chase him for most of the course, which was a great motivator because he was riding so well,” said Blattmann. “Then we had a little bit of a race on the run and I guess I managed to pull it off in the end.

“It was a great day and a really well organized event.”

In the Olympic male division, Blattman was fastest on the run, was second behind Macht in the cycle, and third in the pool.

“We were swimming in adjacent lanes and were pretty neck-and-neck throughout the swim,” said Blattmann. “Every time I looked over, there was Joel.”

It was third time’s the charm for Whitehorse’s Kerrie Paterson. After finishing second last year and fourth in 2010, Paterson raced to her first Olympic women’s title, crossing the finish line in 2:32:22.

“I’ve done a couple half-iron mans and I’m doing Iron Man Canada this year, so my training has been increasing,” said Paterson, who was five minutes faster than last year.

“It went well. I was a bit worried in the pool because we had three people in my lane and I’m not a very strong swimmer, so I thought I’d slow people down. But it went well.”

Paterson, who has twice won the women’s solo division in the Kluane Chilkat Bike Relay, was the fastest on the bike by almost 10 minutes. She was second in the swim and third in the run.

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“The bike went great,” said Paterson. “Then came the run and I cramped up a lot in the stomach, and it was tough going in the beginning but after about 25 minutes I found my groove.”

Taking second in the Olympic female division was Whitehorse’s Catherine Fussell with a time of 2:41:15. In third place for the third year in a row was Whitehorse’s Laura Salmon.

Whitehorse team Zipline zipped through the Olympic mixed team competition to take first with a time of 2:06:13.

“We decided we wanted to try and have a fast team, so we all got into it, and it worked out,” said Zipline’s Stephen Ball.

It definitely did. Zipline’s three members were the fastest in all three events, not only for Olympic mixed teams, but out of all Olympic competitors.

Ball completed the cycle in 1:04:25, swimmer Martina Knopp finished the swim in 21:07 and runner Mike Richards crossed the finish with a time of 41:41.

The team was simply stacked. Richards has won the male division of the Yukon River Trail Marathon the last two years, Knopp swam for the University of Victoria Vikes in her school days, and Ball won the solo male division of the Kluane Chilkat Bike Relay last year, a title he hopes to defend in a couple weeks.

“It didn’t feel like a really fast day – there wasn’t any tailwind or anything, but it was good,” said Ball of Sunday.

Blattmann has also had success at the Kluane Chilkat. He won the mixed two-person division with girlfriend Piia Kukka last year.

In what was just his second triathlon last July, Blattmann finished 10th in the Osoyoos Desert Half Iron Man Triathlon in Kelowna, B.C.

He was also on the winning men’s team in the Klondike Trail of ‘98 running relay the last two years and won the half-distance men’s event in last year’s Yukon River Trail Marathon.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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