Just two months after winning her first triathlon, Kerri Paterson has completed the Mount Everest of sports events.
The Whitehorse resident competed in Subaru Ironman Canada in Penticton, B.C., on Sunday.
Paterson completed the 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre bike ride, and a 42-kilometre run in 12 hours, 33 minutes and 43 seconds.
That time put her in 975th place overall out of 2576 participants and 44th out of 155 for women 35-39.
“It was interesting. I’ve done three half ironmans and it was so different,” said Paterson. “You’d think they’d be the same thing, but they really are quite different. There’s a lot more control involved, making sure you keep your heart rate down and not going out too quickly.”
Paterson’s most recent half ironman was the Vancouver International Triathlon in July, placing 98th overall and 18th out of 65 competitors in her division. She also came 25th overall out of 94 competitors and ninth in her division at the Osoyoos Desert Half Iron Man Triathlon in Kelowna, B.C., last summer.
She won the women’s Olympic division at the Whitehorse Triathlon in June and placed second last year.
Paterson has also twice won the solo women’s division at the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay.
“The toughest part was probably the last 10 kilometres of the run,” said Paterson. “I was really scared for the swim, but I positioned myself on the far left and back a bit so I wouldn’t get trampled on. I got a few knocks and bumps because it’s just a massive amount of people that start in the water at the same time.
“The bike was great. I just had to hold back, which was different for me. Normally I’m trying to go faster rather than keeping it under control.
“The run started off really great. I had a few stomach issues, but it continued to go well until the last 10 kilometres. My feet started to get really sore and my knees were really sore from the pounding on the pavement.”
Paterson was one of four Whitehorse triathletes in Sunday’s ironman. All four were within 100 spots of each other.
Stephen Rose finished just four spots up from Paterson in 971st overall and 34th for men 55-59. His time was 12:33:13. His place was 54 spots higher than his placement in 2009 and 439 spots higher than in 2004.
Brian Macdonald crossed the finish line in 12:38:27, putting him 1013th overall and 182nd for men 40-44.
Lawrence Ignace placed 190th out of 350 for men 40-44 and 1071st overall with a time of 12:46:48. Ignace finished 100th – 12th for men 35-39 – at the Osoyoos Desert Half Iron Man Triathlon last summer and won the Tour de Whitehorse’s sport men division last year.
The 30th annual event was the last in Penticton. After three decades the event is moving to a new location that has yet to be selected.
Next year Penticton will host the 2013 Challenge Penticton, sponsored by Challenge Family, which hosts ironman distance races in New Zealand, the Canary Islands, Germany and Spain.
“Both the extraordinary support of my parents, sisters and (partner) Steve (Ball), all of who were in Penticton at the race cheering me on and knowing that I had great friends here at home in the Yukon rooting for me, really made this long grueling event the success it was for me,” said Paterson. “Without the support of these people, this accomplishment wouldn’t feel quite as great.”
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