Macht regains Long Lake title

The winner of Saturday's Long Lake Triathlon was moving at Macht speed.

The winner of Saturday’s Long Lake Triathlon was moving at Macht speed.

Whitehorse’s Joel Macht was the first solo athlete over the finish line to win the triathlon, recapturing the solo men’s title he last held after winning in 2008.

“It was good, the weather turned out nice and it was a good turnout,” said Macht. “It’s great that there are so many people here. This is the best turnout I’ve ever seen.

“I have no idea what my time was. I forgot my watch. My plan was to go hard in the swim and try to hang on, which is usually my plan when racing against guys like Stephen (Waterreus) and Ian (Parker).”

Parker and Waterreus were indeed nipping at his heels. Macht won with a time of one hour, 43 minutes and 54 seconds, just 1:37 in front of Waterreus and 2:58 in front of Parker. Those times put Waterreus in first for masters men and Parker in second for solo men.

“In the past, usually, when I have four or five minutes on them by the end of the swim they catch me on the bike,” said Macht. “Then I’m trying to play catchup and usually not succeeding. This year I didn’t see them after the bike and I was listening for them when I was going uphill on the run.”

One doesn’t have to look far back to find an example of Parker catching Macht. Parker defeated Macht in the half-distance division of the Yukon River Trail Marathon the previous weekend. Parker also won the Long Lake Triathlon in 2010 and 2005 with Macht placing second.

Parker set a course record in the 2010 Long Lake Triathlon. However, since then a different course has been used. On Saturday, Macht beat the time set by last year’s solo men winner, Lee Hawkings, and thereby set a new course record.

Macht has also twice won the Whitehorse Triathlon. The one-kilometre open-water swim in Long Lake makes that triathlon a whole different beast from the Whitehorse Triathlon, in which the swim takes place in a pool, said Macht.

“I think some people have a hard time mentally doing the swim in open water,” said Macht. “It’s a little more intimidating because you’re farther from shore and help. It’s a bit more challenging mentally – and you have the cold to deal with as well.

“It’s an added element that, in my opinion, makes it a bit more fun.”

Veronique Theriault, a coach for the Whitehorse Cross-Country Ski Club, won the solo women’s division with a time of 2:25:37.

Alison Perrin (2:27:53) placed second and Ella Parker (2:32:02) – no relation to Ian – took third.

The fastest time on the day was set by “Sue’s Team” in the mixed team division, completing the event in 1:37:51.

The team was originally supposed to be the resurrection of “Haley’s Comets,” a team that won the triathlon in 2009, but the team’s namesake, Haley Braga, was unavailable to compete. Instead, she got her swim coach to swim for her – and talk about a ringer.

Stephanie Dixon, who is the head coach of the Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club, has won 19 medals at the Paralympic Games and holds four world records.

“That was thanks to Haley: she got her coach to swim for us,” said team runner Sue Bogle. “She’s quite the ringer. She was first out of the water – it put the pressure on us to keep it up.”

“I was feeling good about myself after that swim,” said Macht, who was second out of the water. “I told (Dixon) not to get too far ahead of me at the end of the swim because I wanted to follow her cyclist to ensure I didn’t get lost. By the time I got on my bike, their cyclist was miles ahead of me.”

Bogle completed the six-kilometre run and teammate Guy Gorrell completed the 15.5-kilometre mountain bike.

“It’s great, it’s so much fun,” said Bogle. “The weather co-operated. I can’t speak for the swim or the bike, but the run is such a nice trail.”

Solo results

Open men

1st Joel Macht – 1:43:54

2nd Ian Parker – 1:46:52

3rd Nansen Murray – 1:57:48

4th Logan Potter – 2:04:33

5th Justin Quigley – 2:30:58

Open women

1st Veronique Theriault – 2:25:37

2nd Alison Perrin – 2:27:53

3rd Ella Parker – 2:32:02

4th Kylie Bird – 2:46:58

5th Jade McNeal – 2:49:50

6th Emily Ratcliff – 2:57:15

7th Valerie Girard – 3:02:40

8th Emerald Kains – 3:19:03

Masters men

1st Stephen Waterreus – 1:45:31

Masters men plus

1st Bernard Walsh – 2:59:44

Masters women plus

1st Christine Paradis – 3:00:20

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