It was a great day for Canadians at Ironman Whistler yesterday.

Last year’s Challenge Penticton winner Jeffrey Symonds took second place in Whistler yesterday in an impressive 8:25:22 behind Marino Vanhoenacker who has the world record for the fastest Ironman. He used an outstanding 2:40 marathon to chase down Paul Ambrose and Trevor Wurtele who both rode a strong 4:41 bike split. Symonds ran 11 minutes faster than anyone else but Marino Vanhoenacker posted such an aggressive bike split of 4:31 that it proved impossible to close that gap. Vanhoenacker’s winning time was 8:16:10. Defending champ Trevor Wurtele’s was on pace for the podium for most of the day narrowly missing it in fourth in 8:42:59.

An excited Symonds thanked his coach in a tweet after the race.

Among the top four women it was a tight race for most of the day but American Bree Wee pulled away on the run to win in 9:46:58 while Canada’s Karen Thibodeau used her run to inch out Mackenzie Madison for second place. Thibodeau swam with the chase pack which was two minutes behind Anna Cleaver who sped through a 53: 09. With a solid ride of 5:29 on a tough course, Thibodeau stayed up at the front but Madison’s ride was about four minutes faster. That meant Thibodeau had to chase her down which she did in an exciting race. Vancouver’s Christine Fletcher was sixth.