Australia’s Kate Belivaqua made history at Summerland’s Memorial Park on Monday.
She became the first woman to win Ultra520K Canada.
Belivaqua came into the final leg of the grueling, three-day, 520-kilometre race in second-place, 26 minutes behind Dustin Gilbert. She finished the 84.4-km run, arriving in Summerland in seven hours and 32 minutes, nearly 50 minutes ahead of Gilbert. That records was the final one of her five records over the weekend. On day one, she completed the 10-km swim in 2:27:57. Her second record was for total time on day 1 at 7:26:38. Her day 2 record was her total time of 16:44:21. Her fourth was the total time of 24:16:27.
After crossing the finish line behind Spain’s Juan Arroyo (finished the run in 7:17:32), the male winner who clocked a total of 24:42:02, Belivaqua had to wait nearly 10 minutes to see if Gilbert would come in on time to claim the overall victory.
“That’s a little bit stressful, but no, for me my goal was to have a good run. I had just personal things I wanted to achieve,” said Belivaqua, a three-time Ironman champion. “If I got the overall victory, that was just a bonus. That wasn’t what I was here for. I was here just to experience the whole Ultra520K.”
On Day 2, Belivaqua completed the 275.8-km bike in 9:17:43. Gilbert clocked the fastest bike time in 8:55:33, while Bautista clocked in at 9:12:14.
She said the last 100 km of the bicycle component were the most difficult part of the entire race.
While she was disappointed with her finish on Sunday, her crew members helped her prepare for the double marathon on Sunday.
“My goal was to have a good run,” she said. “And the run was beautiful.”
She was impressed with the organization of the endurance event.
“It definitely exceeded all of my expectations,” she said. “I had an amazing time.”
After Day 2, Gilbert’s time was 16:32:28, Belivaqua was 16:44:21 and Arroyo at 17:24:30.
Speaking through a translator, Arroyo said the swim portion was the most difficult, but the run on Monday was the highlight of the event.
He said he was happy with his results.
A total of 25 competitors, all of them previous Ironman finishers, were entered in the Ultra520K triathlon, although five did not complete the three-day event.
Athletes from Canada, the United States, Australia, Spain, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Guatemala competed.
There were six women and 19 men in this year’s event.
To qualify, athletes must complete at least one iron-distance race in 14.5 hours or less during the past 18 months.
Story written with files from the Summerland Review.
Gerald Streefkerk, 65, finished the swim portion in just over four hours. He finished 15th overall in 32 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds.