Best finish overshadows challenges for triathlete

David Matheson’s sixth time competing in the Ironman World Championship is his best.

Penticton's David Matheson pushed through the challenging Ironman World Championship in Kona

Penticton's David Matheson pushed through the challenging Ironman World Championship in Kona

David Matheson’s sixth time competing in the Ironman World Championship is his best.

The 40-year-old Penticton triathlete enjoyed a personal best time in Kona, Hawaii, clocking in at nine hours, 45 minutes and three seconds. That’s good for 214th overall (out of 1,882 finishers) and 22nd overall in the 40-44 age group.

Matheson qualified after posting his best result during Subaru Ironman Canada. Competing on home turf in August, Matheson placed 10th overall in 9:19:04, which put him first overall in his age group, breaking a 20-year-old course record.

Matheson said it was just a day where everything kind of came together for him in Kona.

“It was probably one of the tougher days there,” said Matheson. “I think given my past experiences there and knowing the race and course and conditions, I was able to draw from that experience and put together the best race.”

While he admits to posting better times in other races, Kona is different.

“It’s not even comparable to any other Ironman just because of the elements there, ocean swim, heat, humidity and winds,” he said. “For me to pull off my best result, seven weeks after my best result in Canada, was just awesome.”

The world championship was Matheson’s 18th ironman event and the Canada Revenue Agency employee said there is something about the island that draws him there.

“I can’t seem to get enough of it,” said Matheson. “It’s in my nature, I’m competitive and trying to challenge myself. Now that I’m 40 it seems even more challenging. It’s fun. During the race at times, I think I can’t do this anymore. I have feelings that I can’t finish. After the race I’m ready to go again. It’s legendary, it’s 30 years old, it’s the original and by far the toughest of all of them and competing against the best in the world.”

Matheson would like to compete in Kona again and is eyeing 2014. His plan is to go every couple of years. Next year he will compete in Ultraman Canada. He has thought of doing Challenge Penticton and is working on convincing his wife Tina. He won’t do it alone because it’s three weeks after Ultraman Canada.

As for his Ironman Canada record, Matheson said he knew during the race where he was positioned and that the record was possible.

“Knowing it was the last Ironman Canada (in Penticton) gave me incentive to try and shoot for that,” he said.

Penticton’s Tom Evans placed 1,893rd overall. Evans completed the swim in 54 minutes and one second, then the bike in four hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds but did not complete the run portion. American Jordan Rapp finished 13th overall. The 32-year-old engineer completed the swim in 59:07, the bike in 4:40:02 and the run in 2:59:27.

“I would say that I’m reasonably satisfied with the performance,” said Rapp in an email. “I set top-10 as a goal and came up short of that, so there’s certainly some disappointment. I think it was a subpar performance for me; but within the entirety of 2012, especially the past nine weeks (between IMNYC and now), I think it was a good performance. Not great, but good.”