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2021 Triathlete of the Year: Age group men

The fastest age-group athlete at Ironman Lake Placid earns the nod as our Triathlete of the Year

Photo by: FinisherPix

Who would have thought that an eight-minute stop at the border during a long training ride would have led to a quarantine ordeal that almost stopped him from competing at Ironman Lake Placid last year. A couple of weeks before Ironman Lake Placid last summer, Simon Leblanc rode down to the border to check with US officials on what he’d need to get down to the race. As he started to ride back, though, he was told by Canadian border officials that his eight-minute stop would require that he quarantine back home for two weeks.

Loreen Pindera documented Leblanc’s trials and tribulations in our November issue of the magazine.

How 8 minutes in the US led to a 2-week quarantine for this Canadian age-grouper

Leblanc was able to get himself to Lake Placid, where he put together an incredible race that saw him finish 14th overall in a time of 9:04:38 – he was the day’s fastest age grouper. Later in the year the 30-year-old from Saint-Prosper, Quebec would follow that race up with a blazing-fast 8:25:26 performance at Ironman Cozumel, enough for third in his age group there.

In 2019 Leblanc was seventh in the 25 to 29 age group in Kona. Hopefully he’ll have a chance to get back to the Big Island later this year for a chance to go for the podium in the 30 to 34 category. Even though he didn’t have a chance to compete at a world championship in 2021, his impressive day in Lake Placid certainly makes him a worthy recipient of our Triathlete of the Year award.

Honourable mentions:

  • Calgary’s Cal Zaryski took a pair of world titles in 2021 – capturing his age group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah, and earning yet another age group title at the Xterra worlds in Maui last December.
  • Quebec City’s Jeremie Martin, 23, won his age group (18-24) at Ironman Cozumel, going 8:23:48 and finishing 23rd overall.
  • Longeuil, Quebec’s Patrice Brisindi, 50, won the 50-54 category in Cozumel with an 8:45:55 clocking.
  • John Wragg, 71, added to his record-setting number of full-distance finishes win a win in his category in Cozumel.
  • John Van Heyst, 60, from Foothills, B.C. won the men’s 60-64 category at Ironman Arizona.