Canada Takes Six Medals at ITU Duathlon World Championships in Spain
Six Canadians medalled in the age group races at the Duathlon World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain on Sunday. Peggy Labonte, of Pierrefonds, Que., took home a gold for Canada in the women’s 30-34 division. Canadian duathletes also took home up one silver and two bronze in the standard distance races along with two silvers in the sprint distance event.
Labonte’s time of 2:13:46 under hot conditions on the challenging course was exceptional. “That was a tough course,” said Labonte. “The times were slow and you didn’t know where you were within the field. I’m super happy with my race result. It was tough today.”
Carolyn Silvey of Toronto won silver in the women’s 55-59 class in 2:33:34. Trail running specialist Jennifer Faraone, also of Toronto, won bronze in the women’s 40-44 age class with a time of 2:18:43. “The race was amazing,” said Faraone. “The 4 loop run began with a steep hill then took us through the old town where the spectators and fellow Canadians cheered us on—the energy was awesome. The double bike loop was difficult—having us climb for most of the first 10km, only to turn around, head back down, then climb again.” Faraone was the defending world champion in the 35-39 age group but moved up an age group this year.
David Field, of Berry’s Bay, Ont., also posted a bronze-medal time of 2:12:11 in the men’s 55-59 division.
“What a stellar race. One of the most challenging, yet picturesque, courses I’ve been on. It was a great atmosphere and amazing team support today,” said Field.
The duathlon race consists of a 10 kilometre run, 40 kilometre bike and five-kilometre run. The sprint races were half that distance in each of the three legs. Two British Columbia duathletes took silver in the sprint. Vancouver’s Andrew Tuovinen did so in the men’s 50-54 age group in a time of (1:00:47). Tuovinen finished just under 20 seconds behind winner, Spain’s Fernando Fernandez Villadares. One of the most inspirational performances of the day came from Bruce Butcher, of Kamloops, B.C., who was one of two competitors in the 80-84 division. Butcher completed the World Championship duathlon with a time of 2:08:39. His competitor, Maurice Young of Great Britain, clocked-in at 1:46:35. Only two of the 1,500 athletes competing were older than Butcher and Young with the eldest two racing in the 85-89 division.