David Matheson celebrated his Valley First Challenge Penticton full-distance win with beer, nachos and pizza.
“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet,” said Matheson, who completed the 3.9-kilometre swim, 180-km bike and 42.2-km run in nine hours, 36 minutes, 30 seconds.
The Penticton triathlete was third out of the water among age group athletes and was the quickest on the bike finishing with the second fastest run time.
“It feels pretty amazing to win a race like this in my hometown. Never expected it. It was a great opportunity with the amateur race being shifted to the full,” said Matheson. “I’m pretty pleased.”
Matheson said the slight changes to the course made it more difficult, especially dealing with winds.
“I don’t think I have ever felt winds quite as strong on this race,” he said. “It’s all good. I like epic courses. I like tough days because it just makes it that much better when you win.”
Physically, Matheson said he felt good saying the only struggles he experienced were during the run on Eastside Road. Getting out of the area that has houses, he experienced strong winds.
“As soon as those winds hit me, it was like running into a wall,” said Matheson.
He adjusted by slowing his pace. The main thing that was different for Matheson, who completed Challenge Roth seven weeks earlier, was that he led most of the way.
“I have never done that before. I’m usually the one chasing people,” he said. “It was exciting but nervous, too.”
Taking second was Richard Campbell of Cotton Tree, UT in 9:52:30. In third was Will O’Connor of Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Winning the women’s field was Kamloops’ Yvonne Timewell, who finished fifth overall, in 10:56:27. During her post race interview with Challenge Penticton, Timewell joked that the Penticton Regional Hospital should give her a job as an anesthetics assistant, so her family can move to Penticton where they own a home.
“All in all it was a great, epic day in terms of the weather,” said Timewell. “We had everything out there. Perfect swim, calm water.”
Timewell completed the swim in 1:05:03, the bike in 6:05:34 and the run in 3:45:50.
“The run, it was great. This is why they call it Challenge,” she said. “It was a true challenge today.”
Timewell, who described herself as a strong cyclist, said the bike course gave her the biggest challenge. She admits her overall time was slow and the bike made her fade a bit on the run course.
“I love racing in Penticton,” said Timewell, who won the Olympic distance in the Peach City triathlon earlier this summer and is a former Ultraman Canada winner. “It’s so nice to be in Penticton.”
Taking second was Vancouver’s Andrea Taylor in 11:27:45 and in third was Calgary’s Daniel Redelinghuys in 11:31:17.