Penticton and South Okanagan
Penticton man Challenge winner
Aug 25, 2013 / 6:50 pm
Despite a nasty spill on his bike, Penticton triathlete Jeff Symonds was the first to cross the finish line at the Challenge Penticton triathlon on Sunday.
Much to the delight of the hometown crowd, Symonds finished ahead of the pro pack in a time of 8:29:57.
"Yea, I took a bit of a spill on the bike. It just made it that much more painful, that much more tougher and that much more rewarding," he said. "The fans were amazing, they were cheering me on all the way. Whenever you feel alone, they are there to pick you up. So thanks to all the volunteers, all the fans, just everyone who put this amazing event on."
Symonds, who had scrapes on his arms, shoulders and legs from the fall on his bike, was greeted at the finish line by race and city officials and his worried girlfriend.
He spoke briefly to those gathered, before leaving for the medical tent.
Symonds was in the lead for much of the race, coming out of the water early around the same time as triathlete Chris McCormack.
McCormack dropped out of the event, with Scott DeFilippis of the U.S. taking second in a time of 8:44:48 and Jamie Whyte of New Zealand in third with a time of 8:56:08.
First place woman finisher was Carrie Lester of Australia, in a time of 9:27:26. In second, was Karen Thibodeau of Canada, clocking in at 9:41:42.
Jen Annett of Penticton placed third, with 9:58:23. Hometown athlete Janelle Morrison dropped out of the race.
Lester was all smiles as officials congratulated her and she received a hug and a kiss from DeFilippis.
Almost 1.400 athletes competed in the first Challenge Penticton triathlon. They were cheered on by a big crowd, lining the beach, early in the morning, as they entered the waters of Okanagan Lake.
People then filled the sidewalks on Main Street to wish the athletes well in the challenging cycling and running portions of the triathlon.
Helpful volunteers were on hand every step of the way, and the weather cooperated as well. It was cooler than it has been in past years, but there was still plenty of Okanagan sunshine.
This is the first year that Challenge Penticton has been held in the city, and it featured days of festivities leading up to the race..
The city parted ways with Ironman last year. Ironman Canada was held in Whistler on the same day.
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