Seven triathletes will represent Bermuda at the International Triathlon Union’s Long Course World Championships in Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, reports Dave Morrison.
The race consists of a 3K Swim, 120K Bike and 30K Run which is between the Ironman 70.3 distances ( 1.9km swim. 90km bike, 21.1km run) and the full Ironman distances of ( 3.86km swim, 180.25km bike and 42.20km run).
Bermuda’s team consists of a group of experienced Triathletes, Matt Thompson and Chris Eaton will race in the men’s 40-44 age group. Both athletes have participated over a number of years over both short and long distance races. Chris has raced five 70.3 Ironmans and Matt raced in Penticton in 2002 in the Canada Ironman World Championships.
Geoff Smith, who recorded an impressive time of 4:57.00 in the 2016 Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island will compete in the 50-54 age group and Joel Matthews, who raced the Canadian Championships in Penticton in 2016 over a very similar course, goes in the 35-39 age group.
The female team members are also experienced triathletes having raced consistently over the a number of years both in Bermuda and overseas. Jen Wilson and Louise Wells, both members of the Misfits Ladies Triathlon group in Bermuda race in the 40-44 age group. Sue Edney (55-59 age group), who last represented Bermuda at the 2008 Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Australia, has completed two of the toughest Ironmans in Nice, where she finished 3rd in her age group, and this May in Lanzarote where she was 4th in her age group. Sue also raced in Penticton last year over these distances and this will be her 3rd long course race in Penticton.
Al the team had to meet qualifying standards set by the Bermuda Triathlon Association by racing in long distance triathlons abroad over the past 18 months and posting the required qualifying time in their age group. As this event is a world championships and has attracted a strong and large field from Canada and the USA and from nations across the world , it will be tough to medal in the age groups but expect Bermuda’s triathletes to do well with some top 20 positions and even a top ten very possible.
Penticton is located in the beautiful Okanagan region of BC. The swim is one loop in the Okanagan Lake on which the town sits. The scenic bike takes the competitors on and out and back start along the edge of the Okanagan Lake and then through town to the Skaga Lake. The course then takes the athletes around Skaga Lake and back to town and has some tough but mostly short climbs with one longer climb. The run is flat and consists of three x 10km loops through the streets of Penticton. However it will be hot on the run as temperatures are expected to be in the mid 30’s by the time most competitors hit the run.