A couple minutes before the start of the race, with his feet in the water at the edge of the lake, Whitehorse’s Joel Macht expressed some doubts about regaining the title at the Long Lake Triathlon.
“I haven’t been swimming much. Or running much. Or biking much,” he said intermittently.
After the race he expanded on that: “A week of running, one mountain bike ride this year and two swims in the last two months,” he said. “I’ve been biking lots – road biking.”
Despite not having as much preparation as he would have liked, Macht was the top solo finisher in the event on Saturday.
He finished the one-kilometre swim, 16-kilometre mountain bike and 5.5-kilometre trail run in one hour, 51 minutes and two seconds. The 37-year-old last competed in – and won – the event in 2012, setting the course solo record of 1:43:54.
The two-time Whitehorse Triathlon champ has certainly been training a lot on his road bike this summer. He won the solo men’s division and placed first overall at the 240-kilometre Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay in June.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from the swim. I had never done it without a wetsuit,” said Macht, who won the Long Lake Triathlon in 2008 as well. “It was totally fine. It usually takes me five to 10 minutes to take the wetsuit off, so I figure not having to take the wet suit off helped me.”
“It’s just such a great event,” he added. “It’s so typically Yukon: laid back, super friendly. It’s not about the competition. Coming first is just a bonus.”
Jordon Lindoff took second for solo men on Saturday with a time of 2:02:03.
As fast as Macht was, he wasn’t the first to the finish line. The aptly named Motley Crew team of Kathleen Hale, Samantha Salter and Jody Eikelboom took first overall.
“We have diverse backgrounds – running, swimming, biking – and we figured we’d come together and triumph over adversity,” said Eikelboom. “I’m friends with both other girls, so I got us together.”
Eikelboom, who ran, placed second in the women’s half at the Yukon River Trail Marathon the previous weekend. Hale, who swam, placed third in her category last year in an Iron Man. Salter, who biked, placed ninth in her category in the Nimby Fifty cross-country mountain bike race in Pemberton, B.C. in May.
Motley Crew, which was the only female team in the tri, placed first overall with a time of 1:46:36, beating the women’s team course record of 1:47:49 set last year by Eikelboom, Salter and Kayleen Wilms.
“I love trail running, I do that a lot, and last year Kathleen and I trained together for a triathlon, so we both do some road riding, running and swimming,” said Eikelboom. “Sam is a phenomenal biker, both mountain and road.”
Leslie Carson, Rob Legare and Matt Ordish teamed up to take first in the mixed team event with a time of 1:59:22. Manuel Sidler, Shannon Mallory and Manuel Sidler placed second at 2:24:54.
Whitehorse’s Kelly Proudfoot was in her first Long Lake Triathlon, but she wasn’t out of her element in the water or on the trails.
“I know all the trails from mountain biking,” said Proudfoot. “I just did an Iron Man two weeks ago for my first time, so I’ve been swimming in Long Lake for training … And it was nice to get out and mountain bike because I don’t road bike, but I had to for the Iron Man.”
Proudfoot, 39, swam, biked and ran to first place in the solo women’s division with a time of 2:09:03. Gillian Smith (2:46:39) took second and Christina Mavinick (3:17:20) came third.
“This is a fun one. This is a good way to do this,” said Proudfoot. “I will probably never do another (triathlon) other than one like this. Maybe I should have started with this one.”
Christine Paradis topped the female masters division at 2:56:36, ahead of second place finisher Sue MacKinnon, who notched a time of 3:17:20.
Sandro Holzinger took first for male masters – the largest solo division with five competitors – crossing the finish line at 2:09:24. John Carson posted a time of 2:09:56 for second and Terry Joss 2:23:06 for third.
“It was great. I was surprised – positively surprised,” said Holzinger. “The swimming part went well, biking as well – everything was good.
“I don’t’ road bike and I only run on trails, so it’s very good for me. And it’s nicer to swim in the lake instead of in the pool. It’s perfect and the weather was amazing.”
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