Penticton’s Dave Matheson was determined to win the 2013 Ultraman Canada Triathlon.
He joked he wasn’t going to shout it from a rooftop because he wasn’t sure he could do it.
Not only did Matheson win, but he also set a world record busting through the finish line at Summerland’s Memorial Park in 21:47:47. He entered the third day trailing Craig Percival, who finished third overall, by seven minutes. Matheson said that announcer Steve King came to him and said he set a new world master’s record. Matheson said that blew his mind.
“I can’t even really begin to describe how I feel,” said Matheson of his world record. “It’s kind of overwhelming. I never expected to do that. I never even expected to do a course record here, let alone a world record. That’s kind of just icing on the cake.”
Following Matheson for second was John Bergen, who won the event two years ago. Then it was Percival, who set a record in the swim completing it in 2:24:28. The previous record was held by Charlie Ernst in 2011 in 2:32:28 according to the Ultraman Canada website. The top female finisher was Iona MacKenzie finishing in 30:15:38.
King said the weekend triathlon ended up being the most in depth race in many ways.
“With the leaders setting a huge pace from the start with a new record for the swim, we had a new day one record, we had bike split records, it was just amazing,” said King. “We had three new age group records … it was just an amazing three days. Weather conditions were ideal for athletes. There was cloud cover. Winds seemed to be at their back a lot of the time. The calibre of the athletes was the highest probably we have ever seen in the field in terms of the mens division.”
Matheson said as the run progressed he was confident he was making ground on Percival. His confidence grew that he would win. He admitted to knowing about the course record but said he didn’t think about that until he had six kilometres to run. When he looked at his watch, he knew there was a possibility. That’s when he told his pace runner that he wanted to pick it up.
“I started feeling better after 82-km of running,” said Matheson, who completed the run in 7:04:13. “We started running faster than we had all day. Probably the most incredible athletic experience ever of all time and I couldn’t believe I was doing it. I think it was just adrenaline.”
They flew into the finish line where his family and friends awaited.
“It was just awesome,” he said. “It’s still kind of sinking in what we accomplished. It’s one of those things that this isn’t something you can do on your own. It’s an entire team effort. I couldn’t have done it without the six people I had with me.”
King described Matheson’s performance, as “totally world class in every respect.”
“The good thing for Dave was, the helpful thing as well, apart from having the talent he does, he knew the course because he has crewed three times as well. He has seen it from the back end of the field, the middle of the field and the top of the field. He crewed Kevin Cutjar in 2010 when Kevin set the record.
“Kevin is the only person who has gone inside of 22 hours,” continued King. “That is absolutely world class. The time that Dave beat in terms of the world masters record was the time of the six-time world champion, Alexandre Ribeiro of Brazil.”
On the women’s side, King said it was a good win for MacKenzie, who placed third in Hawaii in 2007. While Stacey Shand made time during the run, MacKenzie did enough to win.
As for Bruce Schoenne, the only other Penticton athlete, he did not succeed in completing the run. King said Schoenne was forced to drop from the course because of physical pain in his legs and feet. His time after two days was 18:27:45.