Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

LAND HO – Victoria Ryan sights the shore as she approaches the exit of the swim during the annual Long Lake Triathlon Saturday. Ryan was the fastest swimmer out of the water to tag her teammate for the relay. More than 30 people took part in this year’s event.

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

QUICK TRANSITION – Willie Bell removes his swim cap after coming out of Long Lake following the first event of the Long Lake Triathlon.

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

IN THE PACK – Swimmers return to shore after turning around a buoy in Long Lake during the triathlon.

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

TRANSITION – Virginia Sarrazin gets a hand removing her wetsuit before embarking on the bike.

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

SMILING TO THE FINISH – Jenny Bonny reaches the finish of the Long Lake Triathlon.

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

YOUNG GUN – Olie Johnson is greeted at the finish line by his dad, Kris. At 11 years old, Johnson was the youngest participant to take part in the Long Lake Triathlon and completed the full course.

Long Lake Triathlon sees sunny skies and more than two dozen racers

A volunteer turned racer won the Long Lake Triathlon.

By Marissa Tiel on August 7, 2017

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)

Comments (2)

Up 1 Down 0

olie on Aug 30, 2017 at 2:33 pm

I loved this race

Up 1 Down 0

Kirsten Bradley on Aug 7, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Awesome event - thanks to the organizers!

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