Nathan Champness didn’t let a bad race spoil the start of another great season.
A week after a disappointing result (28th overall) at the Wildflower Triathlon in California, the Vernon-raised triathlete – who now resides in Kamloops – rebounded to defend his title at the Bare Bones Duathlon 5k run/34k bike/5k run) in Penticton last Saturday.
Champness finished the course in one hour, 27 minutes and nine seconds, nearly two minutes ahead of the runner-up, Justin Birks of Penticton.
The following day, Champness distanced himself from defending champ Jeff Vogt of Kelowna to win the Blossom 10 Miler in Naramata, part of the Interior Running Association series.
Champness finished in 56:51, almost two minutes ahead of Vogt.
Penticton’s Jen Annett won the women’s titles at both races.
A number of other North Okanagan runners were among the field in Naramata:
Gerry Naito, Vernon (29th overall, fourth in M55-59 age group, 1:14:08); Tara Ivanitz, Kamloops (formerly of Vernon, 35th overall, second in F20-29, 1:15:08); Cathy Brown, Coldstream (42nd, second F45-49, 1:17:34); Dan Kunzelman, Coldstream (46th, second M50-54, 1:19:10); Shanda Hill, Vernon (53rd, third F30-34, 1:21:40); Stephen Joyce, Coldstream (60th, third M50-54, 1:23:41);
Ken Riegel, Vernon (61st, second M65-69, 1:23:51); Stuart Lambert, Armstrong (65th, fourth M50-54, 1:24:34); Rhian Harrison, Vernon (79th, seventh F45-49, 1:28:04); Kristen Read, Vernon (81st, sixth F30-34, 1:28:34), Claire Parker, Vernon (126th, ninth F55-59, 1:44:43).