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This Weekend’s Canadian National Triathlon Championships

Races on Saturday and Sunday.

Some of Canada’s finest triathletes have confirmed their participation in the 29th annual Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon taking place on August 19 to 21 in Kelowna. Amongst them are 36-year-old, two-time Olympic medal winner Simon Whitfield of Victoria, 26-year-old Kyle Jones of Oakville, Ontario and 22-year-old Edmonton native Paula Findlay.

Findlay placed 29th in the ITU Triathlon World Championship Series Race in London on August 6, testing her recovery from a hip injury. “It is not the result I wanted, but I have to put things into perspective and I can’t expect to be there with the fastest girls having not run in nearly five weeks,” said Findlay, whose lower placing in London reduced her ITU elite ranking to third overall. “When I made the decision to race, I knew I didn’t have the fitness, but wanted to come and experience the London course so I can be prepared for next year.” Findlay is well versed with the Kelowna event.

Jones and Whitfield turned in a solid performance at the same event in London. Jones finished as the top Canuck in 19th place, clocking a time of 1:52:10. Whitfield clocked-in at 1:52:23 to take 23rd spot in the 67-strong field of the world’s best triathletes. Kelowna makes for an exciting battle ground. In 2010 Whitfield took the Canadian title in Kelowna, beating Jones in a sprint finish by a mere fifth of a second. Elite males from eleven countries and Elite women from five countries will participate in the 2011 Kelowna ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup, also hosted by the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon.

With close to 2,000 event entries expected for the three-day event and more than 1200 volunteer positions, the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon is the largest Canadian triathlon, acknowledged as one of the best organized events in Canada, comparing favourably with several leading world triathlons.

Almost 500 of 1200 volunteer positions have yet to be filled. One person can fill more than one position, and volunteers can visit the event website at www.appletriathlon.com to register or call the KATS office at (250) 763-5287. Available volunteer positions are mainly on the bike and run courses on Saturday and Sunday. People are also needed for equipment set-up and take-down on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

More information on the weekend’s events is available at www.appletriathlon.com. The “Apple” offers races for all ages and stages, from Kids of Steel, the FINA approved open water swim, to the Try-a-Tri, a fun run, aquathon, the business challenge relay, Junior Elites, competitive age-groupers, and finishes with the Male and Female Elite races on Sunday, August 21.

The event is organized by the Kelowna Apple Triathlon Society (KATS), a non-profit society.

Visit the Race Website for full details.

The race serves as a Qualifier for the World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2012.
Click here to read the ITU announcement about the selection of Auckland as the host for the 2012 World Championships. Information on how to qualify for the 2012 World Championships is available in English(PDF) and French(PDF). Please note that at the Kelowna Apple Triathlon, there are 10 spots available for each gender for each age group for the World Championships.

Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in Canada. Since its recognition as an Olympic medal sport from 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon and its related disciplines in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, visit www.triathloncanada.com