Jen Annett eager for home Challenge

Penticton pro triathlete talks about the upcoming Challenge Penticton ITU Long Course Distance race

PENTICTON’S JEN ANNETT is hoping for a top-three finish in the Challenge Penticton ITU Long Course Distance world championship qualifier on Sunday.

PENTICTON’S JEN ANNETT is hoping for a top-three finish in the Challenge Penticton ITU Long Course Distance world championship qualifier on Sunday.

It will be all about execution for Jen Annett in the Challenge Penticton ITU Long Course championship Sunday.

Her coach has a plan in place for the three-kilometre swim, 120-km bike and 30-km run and now there is only one thing on her mind.

“Hopefully not totally screw it up,” she laughed. “As long as I stick to that, then hopefully the outcome will be the best outcome that it can be.”

In 2015, Annett placed seventh among a fast pro field in the half distance. The previous two years the Penticton resident finished third in the full distance. Annett goes into the race with seven events completed this season, including victories at the Great White North, Barebones Duathlon and the Peach Classic Triathlon. She also finished third at the Ironman 70.3 Victoria and was sixth at the Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene. Tired from the last two months, competing with a home court advantage on Aug. 28 has her energized.

“It’s too hard to turn down a local race like this,” she said. “It’s a really different distance that I’ve never raced before. It’s like a three-quarter distance. It will be interesting to see how that unfolds.

“You can’t hammer it as hard as a half,” she continued. “That last 10k on the run is going to kill you. You don’t want to take it as slow as a full. It will be interesting, definitely.”

Annett has been talking to other athletes trying to get a sense of her competition. She expects the field to be good.

Triathletes competing will be California’s Jenny Fletcher and Kendra Goffredo, Montana’s Sarah Graves, Nevada’s Elizabeth Lyles, Oregon’s Mackenzie Madison and Victoria’s Karen Thibodeau.

Annett, who has a new sponsor in EnergyLab Sports from Calgary, to join her other sponsors, decided to take a six-week break between events leading up to Challenge Penticton. She figures “in theory” it will help her perform better this weekend as she pushes for a top-three finish.

One thing that will give her a lift on race day are the spectators.

“It’s awesome. Coming down Main Street, it’s awesome you forget about that last two-km,” said Annett. “Everybody is just cheering you on.”

As for Penticton hosting the ITU Qualifier and Multisport championship, she thinks it’s awesome.

“It’s kind of cool that we have all the events happening throughout the week, which obviously is catering to a variety of different athletes,” said Annett. “It will be really neat to see all of that unfold. I hope the numbers are really good.”

For coverage of the Aquathlon on Thursday and Cross Triathlon on Friday, visit Challenge Penticton begins Wednesday with the Duathlon at 7 a.m.


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