Victoria’s Simon Whitfield and Winnipeg’s Sarah-Anne Brault claimed the titles of Canadian Elite Triathlon Champions today in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Whitfield did battle with his training partner Kyle Jones for his tenth National Elite title. The two essentially shadowed each other during the swim and bike, and headed out on the final 10 kilometre run together. And while last year Whitfield defeated Jones in a sprint finish, he left nothing to chance this time around and broke away from Jones halfway through the run. His 30:58 run (versus Jones’ 31:20) allowed him to take the win in 1:54:12.
“It is nice to get one on Jones because he has been bloody strong this year,” said Whitfield to Triathlon Canada. “We had some fun banter throughout the week. We have become like brothers. Every workout we are side-by-side so we know how much it will hurt to win.”
Jones held on for a third consecutive runner-up finish (1:54:36), and American Gregory Billington used the top split of 30:57 to move up twelve spots during the run to take third (1:54:46).
“The swim and bike went as planned, but I got on the run and didn’t have the legs today,” said Jones. “I’m thankful for the support and cheering from the Kelowna people because I was definitely hurting on the second half of that run. It is not the performance I wanted to have. It would have been nice to get my first Canadian title.”
Brault took a page out of Whitfield’s book to win her first career National Elite Championship. She hung near Edmonton’s Paula Findlay during the swim and bike, and while they came off the bike with seven other women, the race came down to the two redheaded Canadians. Brault, who runs cross-country for the West Virginia University, used that run prowess to clock an unassailable 34:22 split to break away from Findlay and the rest of the women to earn a commanding victory in 2:04:41.
“I felt pretty good today, but I am so surprised,” said Brault. “Paula took off after the transition. She’s the best in the world. I never once thought I could catch her or win. I had no idea how the run would go, but I just kept to my pace.”
Findlay, on the comeback trail from a well-documented hip injury, followed next for second (2:05:35), and American Lindsey Jerdonek finished in third (2:06:03).
The ITU’s Grand Final of the World Championship Series takes place in Beijing, China from September 10-11.
Top 10 Men
1. Simon Whitfield (CAN) 1:54:12
2. Kyle Jones (CAN) 1:54:36
3. Gregory Billington (USA) 1:54:46
4. Tyler Butterfield (BER) 1:55:22
5. Felix Duchampt (FRA) 1:56:11
6. Jeff Helmer (USA) 1:56:25
7. Alexander Hinton (CAN) 1:56:34
8. Kevin Collington (USA) 1:57:02
9. Yanik Leduc (CAN) 1:57:20
10. John Rasmussen (CAN) 1:57:30
Top 10 Women
1. Sarah-Anne Brault (CAN) 2:04:41
2. Paula Findlay (CAN) 2:05:35
3. Lindsey Jerdonek (USA) 2:06:03
4. Annie Warner (USA) 2:06:46
5. Kyla Coates (CAN) 2:09:10
6. Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) 2:09:36
7. Amanda Felder (USA) 2:09:58
8. Alexandra Coates (CAN) 2:11:20
9. Mireille Rodrigue (CAN) 2:13:11
10. Jessica Broderick (USA) 2:13:25
* Make sure to visit out Facebook Page for a link to Triathlon Canada’s gallery of pictures from this past weekend’s racing in Kelowna.