Whitehorse triathlete takes eighth in Hong Kong

Imagine traveling halfway around the world for a race, only to find it might be cancelled at the last minute.

Imagine traveling halfway around the world for a race, only to find it might be cancelled at the last minute.

That was the ominous scenario Whitehorse’s Colleen Latham faced hours after arriving in Asia for the Hong Kong Triathlon, thanks to typhoon Megi, which looked like it was on its way to menace the peninsula.

However, with a last-minute change of direction from Megi, the event went on (almost) as planned and Latham took eighth in the female elite open category on Saturday.

“Basically at Category 3 they start shutting down businesses and tourist locals, and they discussed with us that we may not be doing the triathlon at all,” said Latham of the typhoon. “And of course my bike didn’t show up until the next day, so there was that added pressure of not having a bike there.”

Because of a shortened preparation-time for organizers, some minor last-minute alterations were made to the course, but at least the race maintained its status as a triathlon.

“If the Category 3 had stuck, they were thinking about taking the water part away, so we would have done a duathlon,” said Latham.

For Latham, the top Canadian in her category, the race was a little more exciting than most, ending in a sprint to the finish with seventh-place finisher Irina Kirchler from Austria.

“I caught up with her on the run and we did the switch, back-and-forth for the last kilometre,” said Latham. “In the last 180-degree turn she cut me on the inside and we basically sprinted all the way to the finish. I just couldn’t catch her. So it was very exciting this time for me.

“Quite a few on the bottom I caught on the bike because my swim is my weakness. If I can, in the next six months, somehow get my time down (in the water), it puts me in the top five for some of these races.”

Now in the offseason, with a four-month break from competition, over the coming winter Latham will create a schedule for the spring, hoping to qualify for a world cup event in Edmonton.

“It’s a goal for next July because Edmonton is finally, after three years, hosting another world cup,” she said. “They open up, I believe, eight spots if your country hosts it, for females to compete.

“It’s something I’m looking at. Right now I’m sitting at a priority four, so I have to get those standards and then race a couple of races next spring with great results – a top-five finish. And then I’ll get a chance to race in my own country, which would be awesome.”

Another goal for next season is securing a spot on the Canadian team, but first she must attain the team’s time standards.

“My road standard is fine, it’s the swim I have to do a lot of work on,” said Latham. “They don’t really have a bike standard because the courses are all so different.”

Latham was the overall winner of the Whitehorse Triathlon in June and was fastest in the Olympic women’s division in 2009.

At the Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon, Canada’s national championship, in Kelowna, BC, in August, Latham finished 15th overall and 10th out of Canadians in the women’s elite division.

She was also the fastest woman on Leg 9 at the Klondike Trail of ‘98 International Road Relay in September.

“I think, to end the year, it was a good one,” said Latham of Hong Kong. “I pretty much reached my season-end goal, and I was happy about that.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (yfned.ca)
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (1213rf.com)
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read