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Champness takes Desert triathlon

Vernon’s Nathan Champness followed up his win at the Kal RATS Sprint last month by taking the Persona Desert Half Iron by storm Sunday in Osoyoos.
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Vernon’s Nathan Champness dismounts after the 90-kilometre bike portion of the Persona Desert Half Iron Triathlon Sunday in Osoyoos. The 27-year-old finished first overall in four hours

Mild-mannered vitamin salesman by day, triathlon training machine by night.

Vernon’s Nathan Champness followed up his win at the Kal RATS Sprint last month by taking the Persona Desert Half Iron by storm Sunday in Osoyoos.

The 27-year-old, who works at GNC nutrition, finished the two-kilometre swim, 90-km bike, 21.1-km run in four hours, 20 minutes and 25 seconds, more than three minutes ahead of runner-up Dallas Cain of Rossland (4:23:29). Vancouver’s Ynuk Bosse rated third with 4:27:26.

“The sunburn was the worst of it. I was expecting cooler weather and then the sun came out on the run. I’ve got a farmer’s tan for the next two weeks, for sure,” smiled Champness, who dedicated the win to his late uncle, Karl Friesen.

“He was a very encouraging person,” he added.

Vernon’s Peter Baumeister finished ninth overall, and first in the men’s 19-24 division, with 4:47:21.

Coldstream’s Eric Jewell set a personal best, finishing 15th in 4:58:02, while Vernon’s Simon Craig, who vowed to never again go sockless in the run, rated 28th in 5:10:24.

Cliff Acob of Coldstream clocked a 5:25:01 to place 42nd, Michael Gilman was 53rd with a 5:30:43 and Chris Brown cracked the top 100 with a 6:17:20.

In women’s action, Vancouver’s Christine Fletcher claimed first place with 4:50:25.

Vernon’s Carol Davidson ranked 19th in the women’s 40-44, and Susan Falkenholt took 14th in the women’s 45-49.