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Stafford and Lively win Ultraman Canada

Canada's Katherine Calder-Becker finishes second.

The three day, 514.5 kilometre (10 km swim, 420.2 km bike, 84.3 km run) Ultraman Canada event wrapped up yesterday.

Below is a day-by-day report of what happened courtesy of Ultraman Canada.

Ultraman Canada Day 1 Race Report – Saturday August 4

This morning the south Okanagan Valley greeted the 31 athletes starting the 12th edition of Ultraman Canada with a nice north wind to help sail the swimmers south in Skaha Lake.

The first athlete to complete the 10km swim was Chad Hon of Mobile, Alabama with a time of 2:51:29. Hon was followed out of the water by David Craig of Wellington, NZ and Stephen Stafford of Fayetteville, AR in the times of 3:01:42 and 3:01:46 respectively. The final swimmer of the day was Penticton’s own, Terry Craig in a time of 4:43:06.

In the women’s division, Alice Robb of Perth, Australia exited the swim first in a time of 3:23:45. She was followed by Canadian Katherine Calder-Becker of Montreal in a time of 3:27:16. Consuela Lively of Winter Park, FL rounded out the top three women with a time 3:42:47. All swimmers were able to complete the distance in less than 5 hours, nearly an hour faster than last year’s final athlete.

After the swim, the athletes mounted their bikes to take on the 145.3 course over the Richter Pass and finishing in Okanagan Falls. As the day heated up to the mid 30’sC (mid 90’sF) so did the action. Stephen Stafford, 31, moved from third place after the swim to first overall for the day with a blistering bike time of 3:58:58, a new course record. His total time for the Day 1 distances was 7:00:44, third fastest ever. Chad Hon, 42, finished with a bike split of 4:26:18 making his total time of 7:17:47 the fourth fastest time ever for Day 1. The third overall finisher, David Craig, 45, finished the bike in a time of 4:34:05 for an overall time of 7:35:47. Penticton’s own, Bruce Schoenne and Terry Craig finished the day with overall times of 10:08:27 and 11:13:37 respectively.

Cranking like a woman possessed on the bike, Consuela Lively, 41, was able to move from third female to first overall woman with a bike split of 4:56:55 to bring her Day 1 total time of 8:39:42. Katherine Calder-Becker, 48, maintained her second place position with a bike split of 5:16:17 for a total time of 8:43:33, less than five minutes behind Lively going into Day 2.

Rehydration, recovery and rest are the menu for the athletes this evening as they prepare to tackle tomorrow’s 273.5km bike ride. They will start tomorrow at 7:00am from Skaha Marina, travel through the South Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys and finish at the Princeton Arena.

Ultraman Canada Day 2 Race Report – Sunday August 5

By Sheryl Cobb

On a sweltering day in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, the action was also quite hot. Yesterday’s first place finisher, Stephen Stafford of Fayetteville, AR blazed through the 275.8km course in a record smashing time of 7:47:33 over 19 minutes faster than the previous record. James Player of Roseville,CA and Chad Hon of Mobile, AL also burnt up the course with times of 8:20:43 and 8:20:46 respectively. Those times were the fourth and fifth fastest times ever on the Day 2 bike course. Hon retains his second place overall standings and Player has moved from 10th to 4th place overall. The top three men overall are Stafford (14:48:17), Hon (15:38:33) and David Craig of Wellington, NZ (16:09:23) who was able to maintain his third place overall with a bike time of 8:33:36.

While there is quite a time difference between the top 3 male athletes, the women have been pushing each other with blistering times. Alice Robb was on fire and rode a 9:33:06 today for the fourth fastest time by a female ever on this course. She was followed closely by Consuela Lively who rode a time of 9:35:18 to remain in first place overall in the women’s division. Ingrid Hillhouse had the third fastest ride of the day with a 9:39:04 clocking. Katherine Calder-Becker rounded out the top 4 with a time of 9:47:15 to maintain her second place overall position. That means that going into tomorrow’s 84.3km run, there are only 17 minutes separating the top 3 women.

The two athletes from Penticton, Terry Craig and Bruce Schoenne were able to complete today’s 275.8km course in 11:52:58 and 11:21:10 respectively. That means that all 31 athletes were able to complete today’s distances and will be able to start tomorrow’s run on the Princeton-Summerland Highway as official athletes. The run begins on the Princeton-Summerland Hwy at 7:00am and the first finishers are expected to arrive in Summerland at Memorial Park after 1:00pm. Feel free to join us and cheer on these incredible men and women.

Ultraman Canada Day 3 Race Report – Monday August 6

Leaving Princeton at 7am this morning, 31 athletes faced the last obstacle to becoming 2012 Ultraman Canada finishers, the 84.3km run. Chad Hon of Mobile, AL started the run off at a steady pace and was able to cross the finish line at Summerland Memorial Park in a time of 7:30:56, the fourth fastest run time ever. Stephen Stafford of Fayetteville, AR pounded out a steady pace to take second on the run with a time of 7:53:18, which was more than enough to maintain first place overall with a 3 day total time of 22:34:35. Stafford’s time was the second fastest time ever recorded for the 3 day Ultraman Canada course. Hon was able to secure second place with a total time of 23:09:29. James Player ran the third fastest time of the day with a 7:53:18. Player’s time moved him into the third overall place with a total time of 24:45:08.

Consuela Lively of Winter Park, FL, came to the start line with the lead in the women’s division. She ran a consistent race on the 84.3km course to post a 9:10:33 time to finish as the 2012 Ultraman Canada Women’s champion with an overall time of 27:25:33. Katherine Calder-Becker, of Montreal, QC, maintained her second place overall with a 9:23:48 run and besting her personal record on this course by nearly 2 hours with a 27:54:36 total for the 3 days. Stacey Shand of Regina, SK rounded out the top 3 women on the run with a time of 9:29:39.

Terry Craig of Penticton, BC was able to finish the run in a time of 10:48:14 to post a 3 day total time of 33:54:49. Unfortunately, Bruce Schoenne of Penticton, BC was not able to complete the double marathon distance.

As the day came to a close, the finishers, crews, volunteers and race staff enjoyed food, stories and camaraderie-the essence of Ultraman. Many people accomplished their lifelong goals and others were touched, inspired and motivated to strive for their personal bests in all disciplines of their lives.

The 2013 Ultraman Canada event will take place August 3-5. Please contact Steve Brown at Peach City Runners and Adventure Sports or www.ultramancanada.com if you are interested in participating.

Top 5 Men

1. Stephen Stafford USA 22:34:35

2. Chad Hon USA 23:09:29

3. James Player USA 24:45:08

4. David Craig NZL 25:14:12

5. Keith Bergh USA 26:04:24

9. Kevin Becker CAN 27:00:24

Top 5 Women

1. Consuela Lively USA 27:25:33

2. Katherine Calder-Becker CAN 27:54:36

3. Ingrid Hillhouse USA 29:40:57

4. Stacey Shand CAN 29:51:55

5. Kara Hoffman CAN 31:56:14