Champness pulls Oliver double in style

It was only fitting that Vernon’s Nathan Champness won the 11th Annual Wine Capital of Canada Oliver Half Iron Sunday.

Staff Writer

It was only fitting that Vernon’s Nathan Champness won the 11th Annual Wine Capital of Canada Oliver Half Iron Sunday.

After all, the 30-year-old is much like wine fine as he improves with age. A decade ago, Champness ran a half Ironman in five hours and 38 minutes. He posted a sizzling 4:06 to take the Oliver race by six minutes over Anthony Toth of Kelowna. Champness was second last year.

Such drastic strides are not uncommon to the cat-loving Champness, who took an hour off his previous best Vancouver Marathon time (3:07 is his current PB) a few years back.

Champness also ruled the Oliver Sprint Triathlon Saturday, in 1:55.20, six minutes in front of Edmonton’s Richard Reid.

“When they (Oliver) decided to have both the sprint and Half Ironman races on the same weekend, I figured I would try and win both of them, get the double,” said Champness. “I was expecting it to go well, but not that well. I shaved time off my personal bests in both distances.”

Nothing in the Half Iron went sideways with his bike, which has happened in the past, nor the swim in Tuc-el-Nuit Lake or the run which is fairly flat out and back through the quiet streets of Oliver.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Kalamalka grad started trail runs as a 19-year-old studying human kinetics at unversity in Camrose.

“I was doing triathlons and I started watching Ironman videos and got hooked.”

Sam Lazar of Armstrong placed 18th in the Half Iron, in 4:48:35. He was sixth in the men’s 35-39 class.

Mike Gilman of Vernon was seventh in the triathlon, in 2:21:03, tops in the men’s 40-44 category.

 

Laura Medcalf of Vernon finished 12th, in 2:29:17, while Paul Filippi was 14th, two minutes back.