The Saunders Subaru Victoria Triathlon played host to nearly one thousand athletes of all ages this past weekend for the 2-day festival at Elk Lake.
The main event, the Half Iron, saw last year’s champion Adam O’Meara come from behind on the run to take the win, defending his title from the year before. Finishing second was Victoria’s Leif Baradoy and rounding out the professional podium was Gary Barnes of Churchbridge, Saskatchewan. The top amateur man was John Bergen of Shoreline, Washington who impressively posted the 3rd fastest overall time of the day including the professionals.
On the women’s side Sara Gross joined a long list of legends who have won this race by also running her way to the victory. Gross, who has placed in the top 5 at 12 Ironman races in her career, posted the fastest women’s swim and run split on the day. Gross was challenged on the bike by Christine Fletcher of Vancouver who would eventually fade to third. Another Vancouver athlete, Rachel Kiers, kept her podium streak alive by finishing second after a third place finish earlier this year at the Subaru Shawnigan Lake Triathlon.
Gross commented, “This was a great race for me. My confidence was shaken with my recent DNF (Did Not Finish) at Ironman Brazil. This was my redemption”
Earlier in the day, Vancouver’s Martina Wan won the women’s shorter Sprint race and Robert Johnson of Chilliwack took the men’s win.
Half Iron Distance
Top 3 Men
1. Adam O’Meara, Victoria, BC, 3:58:09
2. Leif Baradoy, Victoria, BC, 4:04:21
3. Gary Barnes, Churchbridge, Saskatchewan, 4:12:59
Top 3 Women
1. Sara Gross, Victoria, BC, 4:28:27
2. Rachel Kiers, Vancouver, BC, 4:33:18
3. Christine Fletcher, Vancouver, BC, 4:35:40
Full results are available here.