Victoria’s Brent McMahon claims Challenge Penticton half distance

Brent McMahon and Jennifer Spieldenner are the Challenge Penticton half distance pro winners

BRENT MCMAHON of Victoria quenches his thirst with water after winning the 2015 Valley First Challenge Penticton half distance pro race on Sunday.

BRENT MCMAHON of Victoria quenches his thirst with water after winning the 2015 Valley First Challenge Penticton half distance pro race on Sunday.

Victoria’s Brent McMahon is the new Valley First Challenge Penticton half distance champion.

McMahon, former Canadian Olympian, crossed the finish line at Okanagan Lake Park completing the 1.9-kilometre swim,  90-km bike and 21.1-km run in three hours, 50 minutes and 38 seconds. McMahon bested the time of last year’s champion, Alistair Eeckman of 4:40.

“I had goals set for myself. I wanted to go out and I wanted to win this event,” said McMahon, who came out of the swim third in 22:04, then clocked a time of 2:14:08 on the bike and 1:14:28 on the run. “It takes a lot of hard work to do that. There was great Canadians and great international athletes here. They didn’t make it easy on me.”

In second was Kelowna’s Trevor Wurtele at 3:53:52, followed by Boulder, Colorado’s Davide Giardini in 3:57:23 and Penticton’s Jeff Symonds in fourth at 3:58:50.

McMahon said he worked hard to stay ahead on the bike and had no intentions to let up on the run with Wurtele on his tail.

“It’s Trevor, I can’t give anything right now,” he said.

Symonds required technical support to repair a flat tire and said it’s tough being a local athlete.

“You want to win, you want to be on the podium. The best way to do that is to not stand on the side of the road,” said Symonds. “I just had to refocus. I think it was important for me to set an example for the race. To go hard and give it everything I have.”

Jennifer Spieldenner of Ohio claimed the women’s championship. In second was Carrie Lester and in third was Lesley Smith.

“It was a hard day,” said Spieldenner, who specializes in the half distance. “It feels really good.”

When asked about the course, Spieldenner said it was very hard.

“That was like a grind,” she said, adding the bike was the hardest part of the course. “And then mentally the run. Staying strong.

Penticton’s Jen Annett finished seventh and 28th overall.

“It honestly went pretty much exactly as planned. It worked out exactly how I wanted it to,” said Annett, who came out of the swim in 28:05, finished the bike in 2:33:36 and the run in 1:33:01. “Of course I would have liked to have placed top-five. I think I put it all out there.”

Winning the full distance triathlon on the men’s side was Penticton’s Dave Matheson coming in at 9:36:33. Kamloops’ Yvonne Timewell, who won the Olympic distance of the Peach Classic in July, took the women’s side in 10:56:30.

More on Challenge Penticton to come.