American and Canadian win 30th Subaru Ironman Canada

American Mathew Russell and Canadian Gillian Clayton are Subaru Ironman Canada champions. Age group female has fastest time for women.

American Mathew Russell and Canadian Gillian Clayton are Subaru Ironman Canada champions.

Russell clocked in at 8:48:30, while Clayton crossed the finish line at 9:46:07. While Clayton was the top female pro finisher, Denver’s Kendra Lee, an age group winner, enjoyed the fastest women’s time, 9:44:58.

Russell, who after crossing the finish line, found his girlfriend Gillian Foreman, who kissed him for his sweet win.

“I feel blessed and thankful,” said Russell. “I’m ecstatic. Speechless.”

Russell said he didn’t know what could happen today, adding that a person could be feeling great until mile 23, but he was able to hang on and finish strong.

Following Russell was Penticton’s Olly Piggin at 8:54:17 and Germany’s Christian Brader at 8:58:59.

Clayton started to get that winning feeling after another male pro she was near checked and didn’t see another female in sight.

“I thought, you know, Clayton if you don’t fall on your face, you are probably going to be ok,” she joked. “When I turned onto Lakeshore Drive, I just visualized all the videos I’ve ever seen of all these unbelievable champions winning and I thought you know this is going to be me.”

In second place is Canadian Karen Thibodeau at 9:50:52 and in third is Penticton’s Janelle Morrison at 9:53:20, who made a comeback after a car accident that nearly killed her in 2010.

For full coverage for the 30th Subaru Ironman Canada, check Wednesday’s issue of the Penticton Western News.