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McQuaid takes second in Whister: Subaru Ironman Canada


2006 Ironman Canada Champion Jasper Blake greats Melanie McQuaid at the finish.
Melanie McQuaid and 2006 Ironman Canada Champion Jasper Blake

Melanie McQuaid proved she’s among the toughest women racing the pro circuit taking second at Ironman Canada on Sunday in her very first Ironman despite some of the most challenging conditions of any Ironman race this year. As cold blowing rain pelted the swim and the early part of the bike, with temperatures hovering around nine degrees celcius, a number of athletes were forced to withdraw with hypothermia. McQuaid came out of the water in third after swimming alone with a swim split of 57:00. Out in front in Lake Alta, super swimmer Karen Thibodeau battled it out with Laurel Wassner well ahead of the pack. Thibodeau managed to exit the water three seconds ahead of Wasser in 54:09.

Once out of the water McQuaid put on an incredible show on the bike riding solo for the whole day and leading the run through 37 km when American Danielle Mack inched into the lead taking the win in 9:46:19. After a gutsy performance, McQuaid finished in 9:48: 23 asserting her prowess at yet another distance. The three-time Xterra World Champion and numerous 70.3 champion is now a force at the Ironman distance. Penticton’s Jen Annett was third in 9:55:06. Thibodeau who has been second at Ironman Canada, was forced to withdraw on the bike.

Jen Annett with Ironman Champion Sara Gross
Jen Annett with Ironman Champion Sara Gross


In the men’s race, Ukrainian Viktor Zyemtsev ran his way to the front with a 2:54 marathon to take the win in 8:49:46. Kyle Buckingham led for most of the day but was caught by Zyemtsev with a little over 5km to go. At 42 years old, Zyemtsev is not showing any signs of slowing down. Buckingham finished in 8:50:30 for second and Justin Daerr of the US, took third in 8:54:45. Derek Garcia, also of the US, finished in fourth in his first pro race since coming back from fighting cancer. His finish just outside the podium had the crowd roaring. Nathan Killam was the top Canadian finishing in sixth in a time of 9:14:34. Hometown favourite Jeff Symonds was forced to DNF early on the bike as were Luke Bell and Paul Ambrose.

The men's podium LR:
The men’s podium LR: Daerr, Zyemtsev and Buckingham

TOP 5 Pro Men
1 8:49:46 Viktor Zyemtsev UKR
2 8:50:30 Kyle Buckingham ZAF
3 8:54:45 Justin Daerr USA
4 9:02:55 Derek Garcia USA
5 9:08:45 Chris McDonald US


TOP 5 Pro Women

1  9:46:19 Danielle Mack USA
2 9:48:23 Melanie McQuaid CAN
3 9:55:06 Jen Annett CAN
4 9:59:34 Mackenzie Madison USA
5 10:00:18 Jessica Fleming AUS