“I’ve always thought of the races in Mooloolaba as iconic and exotic so to actually get to partake in the action this year was a little surreal,” said Brault. “The swim was a little chaotic. I felt comfortable on the bike, which I expected, and I was pleasantly surprised to run away from the other girls early on.”
The 24-year-old from Winnipeg conquered the Olympic distance and the heat in 2:07:55. Australia’s Kelly-Ann Perkins was second at 2:09:16. Penny Hayes, of New Zealand, secured the bronze medal with a time of 2:10:30.
“It has taken me a while to come back with my running since a stress fracture last summer,” said Brault. “I just kept focused on keeping that lead until the finish.”
Brault’s teammate, 21-year-old Ellen Pennock finished fourth in extremely competitive sprint race at Mooloolaba, Australia on Saturday in a time 1:00:25.
“I was really focused on nailing some key processes in the race and the result followed today,” said Pennock. “I’ve surprised myself with the amount of training I’ve been able to handle during the offseason, and everything just felt fluid today.”
After a solid swim, and the fastest T1, Pennock stayed with the top girls through the finish. “I was really focused on nailing some key processes in the race and the result followed today,” said Pennock. “I’ve surprised myself with the amount of training I’ve been able to handle during the offseason, and everything just felt fluid today.”
American and three-time World Triathlon Series winner Gwen Jorgensen, won in 59:55 and compatriote Katie Hursey ran to the silver medal in 1:00:10. Japan’s Ai Ueda took third medal with a time of 1:00:14.
“The result today definitely boosts my confidence, and gives me a sense of belonging with these top girls,” added Pennock, who has only had a handful of World Cup starts in just three years of racing on the senior development squad. Her best World Cup finish came last year when she was second in Edmonton.
Kirsten Sweetland finished in a solid seventh with a time of 1:00:52. “Today was a great way to start the season! I felt strong throughout the entire race so I’m really happy with that as a starting point,” said Sweetland. “This race is always very telling of fitness as it is a demanding course and a competitive field.”
Other Canadians racing were Edmonton’s Paula Findlay racing her first World Cup in three years finishing in 17th-place finish 1:02:25, and Kyle Jones placed 22nd with a time of 55:56. “Gotta start somewhere,” said Findlay, who won five World Triathlon Series races before facing a nagging hip injury. “Being back racing is a small victory for me, but I’ve got a lot of running to do.”