Carlos Lesser was nowhere in sight as Penticton’s Jeff Symonds acknowledged the applauding crowd to the finish line.
As Symonds neared the end, he raised his hands to the air then delivered a few fist pumps to seal the victory to his third Investor’s Group Peach Classic Triathlon on Sunday.
Symonds crossed the line in 1:55.41, while Lesser arrived 10 minutes later. The toughest part of the triathlon course for Symonds was the swim.
“It was a pretty rough swim and it really tossed me around,” said Symonds, who completed it in 20 minutes and 19 seconds placing him in third for that leg. However, Symonds began his take over of the triathlon on the cycling portion and never relinquished it.
“I felt good on the bike,” said Symonds, shortly after his win. “It’s cool to race with my mentor Tom Evans. He inspired me to take down his records. The record stands for today.”
Training with Kevin Cutjar of Impact Multisport Coaching and Team Impact, who designed Endurance Planners, Symonds was well prepared for the triathlon. He said wind played a factor as it was tougher in some sections but his training with Cutjar gave him success.
“He knows his stuff,” said Symonds.
Symonds said it was important for him to win in Penticton and to come out with a hard effort. After skipping out of the IG Peach Classic Triathlon last year, he said he won’t do that again.
Symonds enjoys participating in the event because of the atmosphere and cheering people on.
“It’s special winning here because it’s the heart and soul of triathlon in Canada,” said Symonds.
His favourite part of the course is the first out and back on the bike because he can see everyone. Following Lesser was Chilliwack’s Anthony Toth and Evan’s was seventh.
Suzanne Chandler didn’t have the same comforting feeling crossing the finish line as Karen Tulloch of Vancouver who finished 23 seconds behind.
“I was running scared and she’s very quick,” said Chandler, who congratulated Tulloch and shook her hand. “She was catching me. I’ve been injured for a while. I didn’t know it if I had it in my legs. I’m just happy that I didn’t have to drop out was my biggest worry.”
Following Tulloch in third place was Rachel Keirs of Vancouver.
Co-race director Dave Bullock said they were very lucky with numbers. They had 381 registered athletes and 309 completed the event.
“It’s tough with Granfondo a week before,” said Bullock.
The highlight for him was seeing everyone happy.
“This is not like Ironman Canada,” said Bullock. “It’s more family and people support. It doesn’t have tons and tons of spectators and it doesn’t have the high profile. We have the best race announcer and positive vibes. It just feels good.”
In the sprint distance, Gord McInnes of Kelowna won in 1:14.56, in second was Penticton’s Robert Smith finishing in 1:17.17 and third was Kelowna’s Jeffrey Cameron in 1:17.37. Former Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish finished 31st crossing the finish line in 1:34.38. His wife, Deborah, finished 51st in 1:43.50.
For full results, go to http://peachclassic.ca/, then click results and click on www.raceheadquarters.com.