Under perfect conditions at Ontario Place in Toronto 35 athletes took to the start pontoon on Lake Ontario for the Pan Am Games triathlon this morning. After leading the swim, Brazil’s Pamella Oliveira and Bermuda’s Flora Duffy began a two women show on the bike until Duffy put the hammer down and dropped Oliveira. In the chase pack Sarah Haskins, Paula Findlay and Joanna Brown took turns pulling with Pennock right up at the front with them.
Onto the run Chile’s Barbara Riveros was untouchable running 35:20 to take the win in 1:57:18. Behind her with the second fastest run was Mexico’s Paolo Diaz in 1:57:48 and in third was Flora Duffy in 1:57:56. Calgary’s Ellen Pennock was sixth in 1:58:42. She was thrilled with her breakthrough race and said, ” I’m really happy with how it went. I tried to keep my nose out of the wind on the bike. Flora, Sarah, Paula and Joanna worked really hard pulling. The girls went out fast on the run but I steadily picked it up.”
Trying to overcome a knee injury and illness before the race, Paula Findlay finished 9th in 1:59:55. She told TMC, “It was a rough day but it was cool to race in Canada and I don’t regret it. I appreciate everyone’s support so much. It’s really cool to have the support regardless of my result. Live to fight another day–I’ve got another race in a couple weeks.”
Guelph’s Joanna Brown finished thirteenth in 2:02:04. Despite what seemed to be a surprise start with no countdown off the pontoon, Brown said, “I had one of my best swims ever. I was right up in the front group.”
“I was trying to work off of Paula and Ellen (on the bike),” Brown continued. “I had to chase into the turn around just to latch on and as soon as I was in there I just tried to keep the pace high and work with some of the other countries that I think had the same idea–just to keep the pace high and chase down the leaders.” This was Brown’s first race in 2015 and was honoured to race Pan Ams on home soil. “A couple times I almost broke into tears but couldn’t help but smile–people know your name and are cheering for you saying “Go Canada!” and I wanted to stop and wave. It was amazing.”