Local triathletes get a Sunday soaking

Frankly, the weather was crappy. And that made Whitehorse’s ninth annual Yu-Kan-Tri triathlon an even tougher challenge yesterday morning.

Frankly, the weather was crappy.

And that made Whitehorse’s ninth annual Yu-Kan-Tri triathlon an even tougher challenge yesterday morning.

“Two words — cold and wet,” said Joel Macht after the race at the Canada Games Centre. “It was just ugly out there.”

Macht was the top finisher in the Olympic distance, which started with 1,500 metres in the pool (60 lengths). Racers then hopped onto bikes, and rode a 40-kilometre out-and-back course south along the Alaska Highway.

The wide-open highway became a wind tunnel, making the return leg a grueling endurance test.

“Quite a few cyclists, when they came in, said they couldn’t feel their feet or their legs, and then they take off running,” said Zrum.

“Biking on the highway was the worst part,” said Marian Geary, who competed in the sprint distance race. “The run was OK compared to that.”

The sprint distance was an abbreviated version of the Olympic route, with a 500-metre swim, a 10-kilometre cycle and a five-kilometre run along Hamilton Blvd.

Although the weather didn’t scare too many off — numbers were close to last year, with 112 athletes participating overall.

“The Olympic numbers were down slightly, but the sprint numbers were quite healthy this year,” said Kathy Zrum, the leisure program co-ordinator for the city.

Whitehorse’s hardcore triathletes competed in the Olympic division, but they were a small fraction of the race.

“Ian Parker, Joel Macht, Annie-Claude Gaudet — those guys are all doing triathlons Outside, and train really hard towards that. Gaudet is trying for a spot on the national team,” said Zrum.

The majority of racers competed in the sprint, going solo or as part of a relay team, one event per person. Zrum said the race serves as a training motivator for many people.

“I look at someone like George Harvey, who’s been riding his bike everyday, I see him at the pool two or three times a week — his goal was to get physically active and fit, and the triathlon is one of his goals to train towards,” said Zrum.

“The attractive thing about the sprint is that it gives people the chance to train in the three disciplines, and do an event — with all the accomplishment and success.”

There were some improvements to the course this year, now that the Canada Games Centre is completed. The pool-to-bike transition areas were much more accessible this year, avoiding the gravelly hillside from last year’s race.

Also, the post-race barbecue was moved inside, giving racers and volunteers a chance to warm up after the chilly morning.

City of Whitehorse

Yu-Kan-Tri Triathlon

top finishers

Olympic distance (1,500-

metre swim, 40-kilometre

cycle, 10 kilometre run)

1st male – Joel Macht, 2:19:33

1st female – Annie-Claude

Gaudet, 2:26:00

1st team, male – Team

Sumanik, 2:17:30

1st team, female – Tri-Hard,

2:56:15

1st team, mixed – Bold Rush,

2:33:48

Sprint distance (500-metre

swim, 10-kilometre cycle, 5-

kilometre run)

1st male – Tim Sellars, 1:12:20

1st female – Renee Mills,

1:22:22

1st youth male – Matt

Thomson, 1:27:17

1st youth female – Aven-Lee

Enzenauer, 2:08:37

1st team – A+ athletes,

1:21:17

1st team, female – Cherian

Chics, 1:22:10

For full results go to www.whitehorse.ca.