Last year, Joel Macht made a name for himself in the Whitehorse Triathlon, not just for finishing first, but for wearing a pair of Speedo swim shorts for all three legs of the race.
On Sunday, the shorts were nowhere to be found, but his name was again at the top of the list.
“I saw photos of last year and thought, ‘I can’t believe I wore that,’” said Macht. “I decided to go low key this year, so I left them at home.”
Macht finished the 51.5-kilometre Olympic-length course with a time of two hours, 21 minutes and 33 seconds, just 33 seconds ahead of second-place finisher, Stefan Wackerhagen, who won the event in 2007. The two swim together on the Glacier Bears Masters swim team.
“He’s a faster swimmer, so I expected him to be about three minutes ahead of me in the water and I was hoping to catch him on the bike,” said Wackerhagen. “It was pretty close—I could see him on the transition to the run, but I had problems after the transition, so I couldn’t really run smoothly for the first five kilometres.”
In fact, Wackerhagen produced the fastest times overall for the Olympic-individual event in both the cycling and running legs of the race, but could not overcome the 2:47 lead Macht built in the pool.
“He closed the gap in the last half of the run,” said Macht. “I kept looking over my shoulder for the last kilometre, but there was enough of a gap that it wasn’t a problem.
“He’s certainly come a long way with his swimming this year,” said Macht. “So I didn’t have as much time as (Stefan) thought I would have.”
Finishing with the third-fastest time for individuals—first for women—was Colleen Latham, racing in her first Whitehorse triathlon.
“It would have been nice to be first overall,” said Latham, with a laugh.
Not only did Latham beat most of the men in the Olympic-individual events, the women’s second-place finisher, Julia Gerlach, crossed the finish line 11:04 behind her.
“Probably during the run,” said Latham, when asked when she last saw another woman participant in her event. “On my way back I actually got to see people.”
Latham also took first for women in an Olympic-length triathlon at the start of May in Lethbridge, Alberta.
“Next year I’ll probably be volunteering instead of racing,” said Latham of the Whitehorse race. “Because I think it’s a really great thing for people to take part in and I like to be a spectator.”
The hub of the race was the Canada Games Centre, where all three legs of the race started and finished.
Those in the Olympic event began with a 1,500-metre swim (60 lengths), followed by a 40-kilometre cycle, travelling up and down Hamilton Boulevard, to Sumanik Drive to the Alaska Highway, and to the Mount Sima cutoff. On the way back they cut down Robert Service Way, cycled the Miles Canyon Road and back to the Canada Games Centre. They then finished with a 10-kilometre run.
Those in the shorter sprint event swam 500 metres, cycled 20 kilometres and topped off the day with a five-kilometre run.
Numbers were up this year with 94 individuals and teams, about 20 more than in 2008. The largest growth came in the sprint events with 42 individual sprint competitors (not counting teams).
“We opened up the sprint division and we took 16 extra teams this year,” said Kathy Zrum, who sits on the committee that hosts the event with Whitehorse.
“There’s so many people on the wait list and so much interest, we didn’t want to let that enthusiasm go, so we found a way to make it work and got pretty much everybody on the wait list in.”
1st Joel Macht – 2:21:33
2nd Stefan Wackerhagen – 2:22:06
3rd Jud Deuling – 2:26:16
4th Darren Holocombe – 2:36:26
5th Grant Lyon – 2:36:52
1st Colleen Latham – 2:23:53
2nd Julia Gerlach – 2:35:02
3rd Laura Salmon – 2:38:23
4th Sierra Van der Meer – 2:55:01
5th Andrea Buckley – 2:59:37
1st “Try 2 B Fit” (Mary-Anne Myers/Ian Parker/Duane Hanson) – 2:08:14
2nd “Haley’s Comet” (Haley Braga/Derick Hynes/Sue Bogle) – 1:15:39
3rd “Tri’n 2 B Athletes” (Angie MacNeil/Graham Riske/Amy Riske) – 2:22:23
1st “Go Iz” (Isabel Parkkari/Tamaira Parsons/Tamaira Parsons) – 3:10:02
1st Brian McDonald – 1:11:52
2nd Brett Cross – 1:16:21
3rd Robert Bowerman – 1:18:11
1st Holly Goulding – 1:15:48
2nd Meagan Wilson – 1:16:05
3rd Stephanie Dick – 1:18:22
1st Jim Newham – 1:30:46
1st “Superj” (Jeff Hoover/Jen Furston/n/a) – 1:13:16
2nd “Turnips” (Heather Booth/Fred Smith/Nathalie Harwood) – 1:18:11
3rd “The Strugglers” (Candace Stuart/Shannon Ryan/Rod D’abramo) – 1:23:44
1st “Last Minute Crew” (Camilla Gaw/Joy Vall/William Rees) – 1:20:27
2nd “Caz MM” (Lorna Arsenault/Lorna Arsenault/Dennis Arsenault) – 1:27:34
1st “Boomer” (Julia Fedoriak/Brian Fedoriak/Julia Fedoriak) – 1:19:43
2nd “Fafoune” (Elaise Dion/Francois Lafortune/AnoineDion-Lafortune) – 1:25:45
3rd “WB2” (Jessica Bakica/Sarah Woods/Fiona Bakica) – 1:28:26
1st “Sizzlin’ Sexy Seniors” (Sheila Senger/Dennis Senger/Anne Banks) – 1:24:30
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