Hot summer encourages new triathletes

Sunday's Long Lake Triathlon may have benefited from the hot, dry days in recent weeks, with a record amount of participants coming out for the sixth annual event.

Sunday’s Long Lake Triathlon may have benefited from the hot, dry days in recent weeks, with a record amount of participants coming out for the sixth annual event.

“I’ve known about it for years and often I’ve been out of town or just not up to the task,” said first-time participant Bill Parry. “And to be honest, I don’t like jumping in the local lakes unless it’s nice, and with this summer—it’s just my rough theory—there was no problem jumping in there.

“With all the sun we’ve been having, I guess it’s been two months in a row without rain, it really does heat up.”

“It still looked like it was cold to me,” added team-participant Sue Bogle, who undertook the running leg of the race. “But that probably helped.”

About 50 triathletes participated in the event, up from last year’s 36. Starting at the Long Lake boat launch, athletes began with a one-kilometre swim, followed by a 15.5-kilometre cycle on Riverdale trails, and ended with a six-kilometre run on trails in the Long Lake area.

Competing in the master men’s division, Parry completed the course with the fastest individual time, coming in at one hour, 41 minutes and 20 seconds. The Whitehorse resident credits his performance to having trained for, and competed in, a half-Ironman triathlon in Osoyoos, BC, in July, finishing third in his age category. Nonetheless, as a 54-year-old, he was not expecting top results.

“That kind of surprised me,” said Parry. “I was pretty happy about that. My advantage is definitely training for the Ironman in July. It really set it up nicely going into the Long Lake one. I qualified for the (full) Ironman, but I’m not ready to go. I’m hoping to go in it down the road.”

Coming out of the swimming leg of the race, Parry was more than three minutes behind last year’s winner, Tim Sellars, who finished second on Sunday. Parry, who finished fifth overall in last weekend’s River Trail Marathon, managed to catch Sellars midway through the final leg of the race.

“I have been a runner most of my life,” said Parry. “Everyone has a strong suit—running would be my most comfortable leg.

“I think Tim is a very strong swimmer.”

Despite Parry’s surprise at winning, Jan Polivka, who won first-place in the open men’s category, says age is not always much of a factor in endurance events.

“When you are older, it’s a better age for longer distances,” said Polivka. “So if you’re over 40, it’s often better than being 28.

“The best marathon runners are around 36. If the event is over an hour and a half, usually the older people win.”

Polivka, who finished with a time of 1:47:33, led his division for most of the race but still credits his win to bad luck experienced by the open-men’s second-place winner Lars Johansson.

“I can tell you why I won,” said Polivka. “Lars Johansson broke his (bike) chain, almost at the end of the bike leg. He was like five minutes ahead of me.”

As fast as the individual competitors were, the fastest time was had by the winners of the team event, “Haley’s Comet,” which consists of Haley Braga, Sue Bogle and Jerome McIntyre. The trio completed the course in 1:34:27.

Braga, who was the youngest competitor at the age of 12, turned out to be an asset.

“Haley did amazing in the lake,” said Bogle. “She was second out of the water and Jerome had about two-and-a-half minutes to overtake the (leading cyclist) and he overtook her after about 10 minutes.”

As a member of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club, Braga competed in an open-water competition early last month in Victoria, BC, finishing 3rd in the girls 12-and-under division.

“I think we’ll do next year as well,” said Bogle. “Until Haley thinks we’re getting too old and dumps us.

“She’s going to get better and better. And we’re going to get older and older.”

Laura Salmon won the open women’s division with a time of 1:53:25.

Results

Men’s masters

1st Bill Parry – 1:41:20

2nd Tim Sellars – 1:43:49

3rd Marcus Waterreus – 1:46:34

4th Steve Burrows – 1:54:04

5th Sandro Holzinger – 2:02:40

6th Kyle Janzen – 2:19:18

7th Randy Lamb – 2:46:26

8th Rick Janowicz – 3:11:27

Cory Goraon – DNF

Open men’s

1st Jan Polivka – 1:47:33

2nd Lars Johansson – 1:48:51

3rd Petr Polivka – 1:52:36

Desh Seieraberg – DNF

Thomas Luxemburg – DNF

Jonathon Kerr – DNF

Open women’s

1st Laura Salmon – 1:53:25

2nd Julia Gerlach – 1:53

3rd Grace Menning – 1:55:10

4th Miriam Lukszov – 2:05:59

5th Holly Goulding – 2:11:05

6th Lorna Luxemburg – 2:28:24

Nadele Flynn – DNF

Teams

1st Haley’s Comet – 1:34:27

2nd Menage a trios – 1:53:18

3rd Sausage Party – 1:53:22

4th Philipping Out – 1:55:56

5th Wendy’s Team – 2:03:58

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com