Indoor triathlon well received by athletes
For the Western News
Kevin Cutjar had a wild card with his feet, but it only gave him a short advantage.
Cutjar surprised his triathlon coaching student Jeff Symonds by completing the run portion of the first Penticton Indoor Triathlon barefoot.
“Maybe Kevin was onto something,” said Symonds who needed a lap and a half to catch his coach before winning.
Symonds gave Cutjar credit for trying that.
“He’s a wily veteran,” added Symonds. “Totally took me by surprise. Thought he had something up his sleeve.”
“My goal was to get in his head and try to get a lead on him, but he eventually caught and overtook me,” said Kevin Cutjar, who drew cheers from the crowd from his move.
Jen Annett, who finished 10th overall, was the first female to finish the event which began with the swim at the Penticton Community Centre in the pool then concluded in the South Okanagan Events Centre. Held on Sunday, the event gave triathletes a chance to put their winter training to the test.
“It’s always tough to keep training in the winter and I think this is a good measuring stick for all the athletes to see where they are in their training,” Symonds said in a release beforehand.
The format had athletes start in the pool with a 15-minute swim. They then had 15 minutes to transition into the SOEC for the bike portion, which was 30-minutes on a bike set up like a spin machine. The bikes had machines hooked up calculating the total distance accumulated. The bike was immediately followed by a 20-minute run around the concourse, including stairs. Event organizer Shelie Best was happy with the success.
“It went very well, the feedback from the athletes has been amazing and most are wanting to return next year,” said Best.
“This format is a great way to try the sport of triathlon. First timer Tina Braz can account for that as before Sunday, she had never been in deep water as she almost drowned as a child. She overcame her fear and completed the event.”
Best added the event could not have been as big a success without the support of 35-plus volunteers and all the sponsors that provided support and prizing.
Kiah Wheeler, who placed 20th overall, was the grand prize winner of a free race entry donated by Challenge Penticton.
Best said having Steve King, former announcer of Subaru Ironman Canada, added excitement to the event. She also set the setup with people able to watch everything from the SOEC made it spectator friendly and created an exciting atmosphere.
The event had 52 athletes participate.