VIDEO — Pro athletes win Challenge Penticton’s Aquathlon

Jeff Symonds and Karen Thibodeau win Challenge Penticton Aquathlon, use race as warm up for Sunday's Long Course

Swimmers hit the waters of Okanagan Lake on the first leg of the Challenge Penticton Aquathlon race Thursday afternoon.

Swimmers hit the waters of Okanagan Lake on the first leg of the Challenge Penticton Aquathlon race Thursday afternoon.



The adrenaline rush of a late arrival pushed Karen Thibodeau to victory in Challenge Penticton‘s Aquathlon Thursday afternoon.

“I was really excited. I just drove from Victoria and got out of the car about a minute before the race,” said Thibodeau, who finished sixth overall. “I was sort of getting stressed out about making it here on time. I had the adrenaline going before I got in the water. I felt great in the swim. Sometimes that works for you.”

The Victoria native finished the one-kilometre swim in 15 minutes, 23 seconds then pounded out the five-km run in 18:37 for a total of 34:35. Thibodeau said swimming is her background and with the running, her two disciplines, she had to take advantage of the race.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a good warm up for Sunday,” said Thibodeau, who is among the pro athletes in the Long Course distance race. “That was sort of the goal. Get the legs and arms moving. I’m good to go.”

Placing second on the women’s side was Kelowna’s Jessica Deglau in 36:16, while Saskatoon’s Kaycee Schroeder was third in 36:29.

Local favourite Jeff Symonds finished first overall in a time of 31:32. Like Thibodeau, Symonds used the Aquathlon to get warmed up for the Long Distance race.

“It was good. It’s just a good blow out,” said Symonds, who completed the swim in 14:35 and the run in 16:29. Everything is feeling good for Sunday. I had a good swim, got a gap so I was able to save the legs and everything is clicking and it’s going to be a good day on Sunday.”

Taking second was Victoria’s Shawn Wilyman clocking in at 31:55, while Vancouver’s Nathan Killam was third in 32:14.

The event had 115 participants, 54 women, 61 men.