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Russell Pennock wins in Dallas

Russell Pennock
Russell Pennock

Canada’s Russell Pennock won the ITU Dallas CAMTRI Sprint American Cup today in 54:08, ahead of US athletes Sean Jefferson who took silver in 54:18 and Jason West in third in 54:22. It was the 19-year-old’s first win as a senior athlete.

The sprint format was changed at the last minute to a duathlon when the sewer pipes leaked into the water following flooding in the area. The race became a 5km run, followed by a 20 km bike and 2.5 km run.

Pennock told Triathlon Canada, “It was definitely a good day out there. I could not be happier…I was so excited coming into the finish chute. I couldn’t believe I won my first race, and my first time back from injury. I am really ecstatic. I had not toed the start line in two months. This was a really good confidence boost for me going into the rest of the season.”

The high heat in Dallas made for tough conditions. Pennock added, “The weather was so hot and it definitely played a factor. We held off the chase pack and kept the pace steady throughout the whole bike,” said Pennock. “I knew the second run was going to be over shortly so I came out of second transition trying to keep my run cadence high. I got into second spot quickly and sat on the lead guy’s shoulder until the final kilometre.”

Five other Canadian men raced with Taylor Forbes taking 13th; Gabriel Legault finishing in 16th; Brent Paulson in 19th; Reid Burrows in 24th and Patrick Howell finished 29th.

American mile recorder holder-turned elite triathlete Alan Webb suffered a bad crash on the bike and did not finish.

In the women’s race Alexandra Gordichuk was the top Canadian in eighth with a time of 1:03:55. The US women took the podium with Erin Jones winning in 1:00:43, followed by Summer Cook in 1:01:30 and Calah Schlabach in 1:02:24. Three other Canadian women finished including Margaret Bailey in 12th; Adeleine Maunder in 15th and Leanne Lee placing 16th.