August 25, 2014 - 1:18 PM
PENTICTON - Family, friends, residents and volunteers lined the streets of Penticton yesterday to cheer on the 1,200 athletes that participated in the second Challenge triathlon, and to watch Penticton’s own Jeff Symonds defend his title as champion of the race.
Symonds was the first to tear down the finish line ribbon after swimming, cycling and running the course for almost eight and a half hours. His final time was 8:26:58, twenty minutes ahead of Chris Bagg who came in second place.
“Wow. What an UNREAL day!! Tough to defend, stoked to pull it off, but man did it hurt. Things got REAL ugly out there!” wrote Symonds in a tweet.
Carrie Lester of Australia also defended her title as the first woman to cross the finish line, and eleventh overall with a time of 9:27:24. Penticton’s Jen Annett finished in third for the women’s division and twenty-third overall at 9:48:58.
In the half distance, Alistair Eeckman from Berkley, California, placed first with a time of 4:20:33. Following closely behind him were Manson Jeffrey of Vancouver and David Matheson of Penticton.
Katie Frauts of Calgary was the first woman to complete the half distance, clocking in at 5:02:22. Kelowna’s Cailla Patterson finished second at 5:08:06, and Christine Cogger from Pemberton placed third at 5:19:41.
Volunteers were a big help throughout the day, handing out water, ice and snacks to athletes, many of whom graciously accepted the much needed refreshments. Professional athlete Andrew Russel who placed fourth in the full distance race, said in a tweet he is thankful for all the support and is already looking to come back next year.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014