A volunteer turned racer won the Long Lake Triathlon.
Karen McColl, who volunteered at the race last year and hadn’t swam more than 25 metres this year, battled back from a slow swim start to claim the women’s crown at the triathlon last Saturday.
“It’s exciting to do something that I didn’t know that I could do all together,” she said.
Wearing her uncle’s windsurfing wetsuit from the 1970s, McColl got off to a slow start.
“I actually told myself before if I have to swim to shore halfway it’s OK to fail,” she said. “I was probably the second-last person out of the water and it was OK.”
She used her experience on the 16-kilometre bike course and passed about 10 people, then got into her element for the final event: the run.
“I’m sort of a runner, so I thought the run would be the easy part,” said McColl. “But my legs were so tired by then that I actually thought if I don’t pass out...”
Weir repeats as ‘King of Long Lake’
It was a two-way race for the top male spot and 2016 winner Ian Weir pulled it off again.
Weir was out of the water second after Willie Bell – both after Victoria Ryan – and was playing catchup for the bike and part of the run.
“I was feeling OK. My legs were just dead,” said Weir of his run start. “I really wanted to catch Will, so I knew I was really going to have to work up those hills and it’s hilly up the first section, but I just made sure I was patient.”
Weir was able to pull ahead of Bell at the bottom of the first loop on the run course and stayed just far enough ahead to secure the win.
Youngster finishes full course
At 11 years old, Olie Johnson was the youngest racer at this year’s Long Lake Triathlon.
Johnson said he had planned on doing the race, which is billed as a one kilometre swim, 16 kilometre bike and five kilometre run, as a relay with his brother and a friend. When they were unable to race he decided to it solo.
A member for the Glacier Bears Swim team, Johnson said his strongest event was likely the swim. His parents helped him take off his wetsuit and he went out for the bike with a family friend.
He said his favourite part of the bike was the Boogaloo Trail.
“There was lots of downhill and that was really fun,” said Johnson.
It took him a little while to get his running legs after dismounting the bike.
“My legs were a little jelly,” he said. “It was tough.”
As Johnson came through the transition zone to start his second lap, the crowd of finishers and supporters cheered him on.
At the finish he said he was happy and tired and jumped in the lake to cool off.
Top results from Long Lake Triathlon:
Open Men: Ian Weir (1:38:59), Willie Bell (1:39:45), Lee Hawkings (1:48:22)
Open Women: Karen McColl (2:11:15), Laura Wells (2:17:35)
Masters Men: Lawrence Ignace (2:06:17), Sandro Holzinger (2:11:16)
Masters Women: Virginia Sarrazin (2:19:12), Jenny Bonny (2:27:09), Renee Mills (2:27:13)
Open Team: The Jessups (2:01:37), Tender Paws (2:04:16), The Boys are Back in Town (2:12:53)
Masters Team: Despicable Me’s (2:03:21), Team Ibuprofen (2:32:17)