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Whitehorse champ finishes 10th at desert triathlon

Whitehorse's Karl Blattmann can still be considered new to triathlons, but you wouldn't get that from his results.

Whitehorse’s Karl Blattmann can still be considered new to triathlons, but you wouldn’t get that from his results.

Blattmann and four other Whitehorse athletes took in strong results at the eighth annual Osoyoos Desert Half Iron Man Triathlon in Kelowna, BC, on Sunday.

In just his second triathlon, Blattmann finished 10th out of 135 competitors, also taking fifth in the males 30-34 division.

“It went well,” said Blattmann. “The Osoyoos half iron man is renowned for being pretty challenging because of the heat and because the bicycling is really challenging - you go over a large pass.”

Blattmann, who won the Olympic men’s category at the Whitehorse Triathlon in June - his first triathlon - had his best result in the 21-kilometre run, finishes the final leg with the seventh fastest time. The running leg is where you push your body to the limit, he said.

“The run is my strength, and that’s where I have the most experience, so I was expecting to do the best in that,” said Blattmann. “The run went well, but it was definitely the toughest part because if the bike is too tough for you, you’re going to have a real problem with the run. So you have to make the bike easy. When you’re on the run, you have to finish yourself off.

“The run starts off easy, but by the end of it you should have an empty tank. So no matter how well it goes, it’s always going to be really challenging.”

Blattmann finished second in the half-marathon open men’s division at last year’s Yukon River Trail and was on the winning eight-person team at last year’s Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay, the first Yukon team - and the first Canadian team - to win the open division in 17 years.

No stranger to cycling successes, he was also on the winning two-person mixed team in the Kluane Chilkat International Bike Relay in June and was second in VeloNorth’s Skagway Hill Climb a few weeks before.

“All of us from Whitehorse were intimidated by the heat, the prospect of 38 degrees, or something like that,” said Blattmann, “but it was a pretty moderate day. There wasn’t too much wind and moderate heat.

“I had my worries, for sure, and I put in a lot of training, but then everything basically went according to plan.

“I’m happy to have finished 10th, and my time was significantly better than my best case scenario.”

Joining Blattmann in Kelowna were fellow VeloNorth cyclists Kerrie Paterson and Nadele Flynn, who teamed up to win the two-person women’s division for the Kluane Chilkat race for the second year in a row last month.

Paterson, who was second for Olympic females in the Whitehorse Triathlon, came 25th overall out of 94 and ninth in females 35-39. Flynn came 48th and 13th for females 35-39.

Whitehorse’s Brian MacDonald swam, cycled and ran to 64th overall and 24th for males 40-44, while Lawrence Ignace hit 100th, 12th for males 35-39.

“I think everyone either learned a lot or had a lot of fun,” said Blattmann. “That’s sort of how it goes.”

Contact Tom Patrick at