Over 1000 athletes competed on a challenging course in changeable mountain conditions today for the 4th annual Subaru Banff Triathlon, making their way to the finish line on famous Banff Avenue. Fully dedicated for the event, Banff Avenue was a thrilling place to complete the event with lots of spectators cheering the athletes on. Excitement was high despite mild temperatures and wet conditions, a challenge that everyone took in stride.
The course was affected by the June flooding, as a large section of the usual route on Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive was completely washed away. Despite the change there were still many comments on the beauty of the course, which featured not just Minnewanka and Two Jack lakes, but now also popular Johnson Lake. The two loop scenic run course along the Bow River was a hit, especially with the inclusion of the new pedestrian bridge as one of the features.
Three distances were contested: Olympic, Sprint and Super Sprint. The male course champion was Simon Schaerz of Lethbridge, who had to overtake second place finisher Graham Diehl who led out of the water. On the women’s side Janet Nielsen of Victoria took the top spot, with a commanding lead over second and third place finishers who battled it out for a 5 second differential. Nielsen is a Subaru Western Triathlon Series veteran who has been plagued by second-place finishes numbering in the double-digits. The former U23 National Team member said, “I felt great out there today; it just all came together for me, finally!” when asked about her debut as a Series champion.
Olympic – Top 3
1. Simon Schaerz – Lethbridge, AB – 1:58:29
2. Graham Diehl – Calgary, AB – 2:04:22
3. Shawn Wilyman – Regina, SK – 2:04:43
1. Janet Nielsen – Victoria, BC – 2:14:06
2. Madi Serpico – Calgary, AB – 2:17:51
3. Michelle MacWhirter – Edmonton, AB – 2:17:56
Sprint Overall Male Champion: Menno Arendz – Canmore, AB – 1:11:17
Sprint Overall Female Champion: Justine Santema – Calgary, AB – 1:18:11
Super Sprint Overall Male Champion: Anton Nel – Okotoks, AB – 00:46:46
Super Sprint Overall Female Champion: Emmalyn Elgersma – Brookes, AB – 00:54:24