With its dark blue waters, shoreline of greens and browns, light blue sky and whispering light wind, Kenora, Ontario is a perfect summertime spot – especially for the 10th annual Kenora Borealis Triathlon.
The morning of the July 20th competition, swimmers’ white skull caps peppered the shallow beach area. The talking ceased, the race director shouted, “Go!” and out of the numerous cheers, chants of “Go Jared, G0!” rose above the rest.
Jared Spiers, who hails from Winnipeg and works at Woodcock Cycle, was competing in the Olympic distance triathlon. Spiers was fast in the beginning, but as the race wore on he developed stomach problems and started to slow down. Soon, he was passed by Patrick Peacock, who shot in to finish first with a time of 2:04:48.
Although Peacock was first out of the water, Dan Morwood passed him in the bike section. Peacock regained the lead in the transition from cycling to running (where contestants dismount their bikes, quickly change clothes, and put on runners). Peacock never looked back and finished off the run in first place, winning the event.
Morwood finished in a ferocious second place and was more than four minutes ahead of any other competitor on the bicycle. He finished with a time of 2:05:59.
According to Spiers, Morwood “owns” the roads in Kenora and is “right on track” for the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii in October.
Third place went to J.P. Appendino, who finished with a time of 2:11:11. He recently won the Olympic length triathlon in St. Malo, MB.
Just like the tale of the Tortoise and the Hare, Spiers put one foot in front of the other to finish the race in a respectable seventh place, with a finish time of 2:28:53.
“There was a really funny moment as I got out onto… the last running leg – one of the volunteers stared quizzically while I walked, with a ‘Does this guy know it’s a race?’ look,” Spiers says. “I smiled and asked, ‘The other guys walked this too, right?’ and everyone laughed.”
Of the 197 entrants, more than half were women, with a total of 89 women and 108 men competing in all events including the relay.
Some of the women competitors included, Nicole Walker who won the Olympic event with a time of 2:23:20. Edie Fisher placed second in the Olympic Distance Tri with a finish time of 2:27:54.
Shannon Del Bigio placed 8th in the Olympic, with a time of 2:48:50. Nicole Trottier finished in 11th place with a time of 2:55:56 and Ayn Wilcox finished 17th with a time of 3:09:36 in the Olympic distance.
Winnipegger Wayne King, 53, competed in the duathlon, which replaces a triathlon’s swimming leg with an second running section. King came to the sport after encouragement from a friend.
“I was kinda scared for I have not been in any competitive sports, but my friend, who was 74 at that time, stated that if he can do it, so can I. He was right! I loved the thrill, and it keeps me in shape.”
Attending the event was a first for Richard Desrochers, whose son Quinn competed in the sprint category and finished third with a time of 1:07:42.
“It’s a great course and you couldn’t ask for more beautiful surroundings,” Desrochers said. “We were also impressed with the organization of the event, the number of volunteers involved, and the awesome support from the community. Quinn had a great time and we are sure to be back!”
As Spiers aptly stated, “It’s the people who make our sport what it is.”
For information regarding upcoming triathlon events, visit www.triathlon.mb.ca
Interested in a Triathlon? The Kenora Borealis offers a race for every skill and age:
- Sprint Triathlon: 750 m swim/ 20 km bike / 5 km run
- Sprint Duathlon: 2.5 km run / 20 km bike / 5 km run
- Olympic Triathlon: 1500 m swim / 40 km bike / 10 km run
- Olympic Duathlon: 5 km run / 40 km bike / 10 km run
- Try-a-Tri: 300 m swim / 10 km bike / 3 km run
All photos by Gregory McNeill