The 40-kilometre bike ride was the difference for Challenge Penticton Duathlon winner Evan Bayer of Calgary.
After overcoming a tough start on the bike, Bayer ripped through the course in 55 minutes, 41 seconds.
“I dropped my chain (on the bike) twice and I was kind of rattled (just as he tried to get on at the start) but I just had to go ‘settling, settling’ because there was lots of race left,” said Bayer. “That was the toughest part because you just kind of get panicked when the chain comes off.”
After finishing the first 10-km run in 34:25, Bayer ran the final five-km in 17:41 for a total time of 1:49:36.
“I’ve been working on my run a lot this summer. I thought I could give the leaders a minute and still be fine,” said Bayer. “I was pretty happy with my run and at the end I just tried to keep it steady.”
Evan Bayer, left, of Calgary, Alta. passes Jesse Bauer of Edmonton, Alta. on the first run portion of the Challenge Penticton duathlon en route to a first place finish in the Wednesday event.
Bayer, who plans to return for the world championships next year, said the last hill was a wall when he looked up.
Finishing in second, and winning the M25-29 age group, was Victoria’s Shawn Wilyman, who crossed the line in 1:51:08. Wilyman completed the 10-k run in 34:11, the bike in 57:56 and finished the final run in 17:32. Alexandre Lavigne of Quebec City, Que., M20-24, was third and won his age group in 1:51:36. He completed the run first in 33:32, then finished the bike in 59:26 and had the fast time in the final run in 17:11.
North Vancouver’s Kim McMullen is the female champion completing the race in 2:12:47. It’s her first ever victory.
“Oh my gosh I’m so excited I don’t think I’ve ever run a race full out before,” said McMullen, who completed the first run in 42:08, the bike in 1:07:47 and the final run in 20:48. “I always place well and I think I placed third in a triathlon last summer in Squamish. I’ve finished first in my age group but not first overall that I can remember.”
McMullen credited her success to going as hard as she could.
“I’ve competed in the triathlon, but my swim is weak, but my bike and my run are solid so this was fun not having to dive into the cold water,” she said.
McMullen, a physiotherapist, got into triathlons in 2002 and was serious with it, but also started doing duathlons.
“I enjoy being first, I enjoy the competitive aspect of it and then the cameraderie of the all the athletes,” said McMullen, who plans on doing a masters triathlon in Vancouver at the end of next week. “It’s a nice community to be part of and it makes you have a healthier lifestyle.”
Kim McMullen of North Vancouver raises her arms in victory as the first female to cross the finish line of the Challenge Pencton duathlon Wednesday morning.Mark Brett/Penticton Western News
Placing second was Hillia Van’t klooster of Olds, Alta., in 2:14:39. She did the first run in 44:22, the bike in 1:04:22 and the final run in 23:04. In third was Vancouver’s Jen Moroz in 2:14:41. She completed the first run in 37:55, the bike in 1:14:23 and the final run in 19:40.
Sister Madonna Buder of Spokane, Wash., 86, placed 108th overall completing the course in 3:51:40.
The duathlon attracted 150 participants. There are 10 qualification spots per age group for the 2017 Duathlon World Championships. It is predicted almost 130 athletes qualified for ITU Multisport World Championships Festival in Penticton next August.
The Aquathlon, a one-km swim and five-km run, starts at 4 p.m. on Okanagan Lake at Lake Shore Drive on Thursday, Aug. 25, while the Cross Triathlon is Aug. 26 at 7 a.m. also starting at Okanagan Lake. That race features a 1.5-km swim, 27-km bike and 10-km run. Find coverage on both those events at pentictonwesternnews.com. There are no races on Saturday. On Sunday, the Long Course distance race begins at 6:30 a.m., while the Aqua Bike starts at 6:45 a.m.