Jameson Plewes did his first full-distance event at Ironman Coeur d’Alene in 2021, winning his age group and nailing a spot at the Ironman World Championship – which ended up being delayed and moved to St. George, Utah instead of Kona, Hawaii. Plewes won again in St. George, despite his calves locking up over the final 10 km of the race. Despite having to run on his heels and just surviving the final stages of the marathon in St. George, the 23-year-old from Brandon, Manitoba managed to outsprint American Parker Kerth to take the win by 22 seconds.
Plewes’ great result in St. George meant he earned a spot for the 2022 worlds in Kona, where he finished second in 9:11:09, good enough for second behind Mexico’s Andoni Valencia, who broke the nine-hour barrier by two seconds.
While those two results would have been more than enough to nail our age-group long-distance triathlete of the year, Plewes added another impressive result to the mix – he also won his age group and finished third overall at Ironman Canada in Penticton last August, too.
Cutjar nails the age-group win, too
Originally from Australia, Kevin Cutjar moved to Penticton in 1994 and would eventually become a pro triathlete. In 2005 he took three top-10 finishes at Ironman races (sixth at Ironman Coeur d’Alene and Canada, ninth at Ironman Western Australia). He won the Ultraman World Championship in Hawaii and would also go on to win Ultraman Canada in 2010. This year Cutjar added an age group Ironman world championship to his impressive resume, winning the 55 to 59 age group (10:23:11) at the Ironman World Championship St. George. It was an impressive win, but we had to give the nod for the award to Plewes thanks to his two world championship medals!
Sub-12 hour at 74!
It wasn’t a world championship, but anytime a 74-year-old goes under 12 hours for a full-distance race, you have to pay attention. We celebrated Bob Knuckey’s amazing Ironman World Championship win in 2018, and have to recognize him once again for an incredible 11:47:30 performance at Ironman Maryland last fall. While we can’t award Knuckey the triathlete of the year honours, we certainly have to acknowledge just how incredible his performance was in Maryland last year.
Knuckey is looking to return to the Ironman World Championship later this year as he hunts another world championship title, this time in the 75 to 79 category.
The 74-year-old from Alton, Ont. did his first triathlon – an Ironman, no less – at age 60. A runner since he was 15, he only started swimming in his 50s. He did that first triathlon – Ironman Wisconsin – in 2008, just two months after being treated for prostate cancer. Since that debut he’s gone on to take two 70.3 world titles (2013 and 2014) and that huge Kona win in 2018.
Now he has his sights set on another world title, which seems like a very realistic goal considering his blazing time in Maryland last September that included a 1:11:26 swim, a 5:35:09 bike and a 4:46:51 run.
Thanks to Barrie Shepley, Kyla Rollinson, Pierre-Yves Gigou, Lance Watson and Carolyn Murray for their input on our Triathlete of the Year awards.