Rainy conditions didn’t dampen the spirits of the 135 triathletes in the Challenge Penticton Junior Triathlon sponsored by Boston Pizza Friday morning.
The action began with the six- and seven-year-olds facing a 50-metre swim, 1.5-kilometre bike ride and a 500-m run. Penticton’s Avery Benn was the first to cross the finish line in 13 minutes, seven seconds. The only thing on Benn’s mind was earning a medal.
“The running was hard, but I had fun,” said Benn, who smiled while completing the course.
The first female to finish was Surrey’s Mia Stevens in 13:23.
In the eight to nine age group, Penticton’s Thomas Caruso arrived at the finish line first in 19:43, while the first female was Kelowna’s Sarah Courtenay in 20:11. In the 10-11 group, Summerland’s Heming Sola finished first in 25:24, while Kelowna’s Ella Rolleston was the first female in 25:39. The 12-13 group was dominated by two Kelowna athletes as Cameron McInnes crossed first in 37:51 followed by Jaxon Slaney, the first female in 37:59. The final Kids of Steel group, 14-15, was completed first by Chetwynd’s Dylan Joyce and Summerland’s Haley Berrisford.
“I was really happy,” said Joyce. “I didn’t expect it. It’s a big event for me. I was just expecting to come and have fun. I’m really happy with how well I did.”
Berrisford said she had a good race and hoped to get first, but was caught by Joyce near the three-km mark on the run.
The triathlon concluded with the draft legal event, which had 21 athletes. It was a chase race in which the female side was given a four- minute head start. Kaycee Schroeder of Dundurn, Sask., took first in 43:23, while Trail’s Jackson Konkin was second in 43:58. Brock Hoel of Peachland was second on the male side in 44:09, while Calgary’s Parker Young rounded out the top three males in sixth place at 45:12. Second for the females was Brooks, Alta., native Emmalyn Elgersma, who finished fourth overall and third was Sophie Ogilvie of Kamloops in fifth overall.
For Schroeder, it was her debut in the chase race. When she heard that the top male was a minute behind, she found another level on her run.
“I gave it my all so they wouldn’t catch me,” she said.
Race co-ordinator Troyce Beglaw said everyone had fun and enjoyed the day.
“I think it’s been really good,” said Beglaw. “There is lots of parents here involved in the Challenge race. The kids are here and they have something to do as part of Challenge week.”