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Paula Findlay defends title at St. Anthony’s triathlon despite cancelled swim

Tokyo Olympian Matt Sharpe takes second in men's race

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

Canadian Paula Findlay (pictured above on her way to a runner-up finish at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship last year) successfully defended her title at the four-decade-old St. Anthony’s triathlon yesterday, despite the wind, rain and tornado warnings that forced organizers to cancel the swim.

A small craft advisory meant that no safety boats could go out on the swim course, which meant the race had to be run as a duathlon – 2.25 km swim/ 40 km bike/ 10 km run.

Findlay at the front

Findlay was among a group of five that hit T1 within five seconds of each other led by American Kaylee Slade, but it was Findlay and American Lisa Becharas who would post the day’s fastest bike splits to lead the way into T2. Findlay would use the day’s second-fastest final run split (36:55 – Slade would run 11-seconds faster for the second run) to easily take the win in 1:46:09. Brazil’s Vittoria Lopes (1:48:23) would run past Becharas (1:49:09) to take second.

“This is not what we trained for,” Findlay said after the race. “There were a lot of unknowns. It was really windy and overall challenging from start to finish,” Findlay said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been the defending champion and I’m so excited. The community support here is amazing, the volunteers are great and it’s always a race that I love coming back to.”

Women’s pro results are here.

Jason West takes first St. Anthony’s title

In his fifth appearance at the race in Florida American Jason West ran his way to the men’s win over defending champ Matt Sharpe (CAN), traditionally one of the sport’s top swimmers, who no-doubt missed being in the water for the first leg.

West finished the first run alongside countryman Marty Andrie in 6:43, then used the day’s fastest bike split to ride clear of the field. He finished the day off with a blistering 30:53 final run split to win in 1:33:47. Sharpe lost 20 seconds on the first run, then came off the bike alongside South Africa’s Nicholas Quenet. The Canadian (1:35:57) was able to outrun the South African (1:36:29) for second.

Men’s pro results are here.