Morning Star Staff/Black Press Sports
It was a super Sunday for Vernon’s Trevor and Heather Wurtele.
Trevor placed second and pocketed $4,000 in the Valley First Challenge Penticton half distance, while another world away, his wife, Heather, took runner-up in the Ironman 70.3 world championships in Austria.
Ex-Olympian Brent McMahon of Victoria, clocked a time of three hours, 50 minutes and 38 seconds to win the half-distance race that was stacked with 48 professionals going after a $30,000 prize purse. McMahon pocketed $6,000.
McMahon crossed the finish line at Okanagan Lake Park completing the 1.9-kilometre swim, 90-km bike and 21.1-km run in three minutes and 14 seconds faster than Wurtele.
“I had goals set for myself. I wanted to go out and I wanted to win this event,” McMahon told Black Press Sports. He came out of the swim third in 22:04, then clocked a time of 2:14:08 on the bike and 1:14:28 on the run.
“It takes a lot of hard work to do that. There was great Canadians and great international athletes here. They didn’t make it easy on me.”
Third place went to Boulder, Colorado’s Davide Giardini in 3:57:23, while Penticton’s Jeff Symonds was fourth at 3:58:50.
McMahon said he worked hard to stay ahead on the bike and had no intentions to let up on the run with Wurtele on his tail.
“It’s Trevor, I can’t give anything right now,” he said.
Symonds required technical support to repair a flat tire and said it’s tough being a local athlete.
“You want to win, you want to be on the podium. The best way to do that is to not stand on the side of the road,” said Symonds. “I just had to refocus. I think it was important for me to set an example for the race. To go hard and give it everything I have.”
Jennifer Spieldenner of Ohio claimed the women’s championship. In second was Carrie Lester and in third was Lesley Smith.
Meanwhile, in Zell am See-Kaprun, Austria, Heather Wurtele posted a 4:23:07, 12 minutes back of winner Daniela Ryf of Switzerland (who claimed US$10,000).
Wurtele ran her way through the field with the second-fastest run (1:24:56) of the day. She earned $US5,500.
Anja Beranek of Germany was third in 4:24:10, while Canada’s Magali Tisseyre placed fourth in 4:25:33
Said Wurtele: “The swim was a bit of a tough way to start this day. I was pretty happy to ride pretty close to the front. I hoped to be closer to the front after the swim, but I’m happy I made my way on the bike and on the run. I dug deep on the run. I was off the bike in fifth and gave all I have on the run. I really left it out all there. It’s brilliant that the Ironman 70.3 World Championship is travelling around the world, coming over to Europe is really fantastic.”
Some other Vernon-area athletes competed in the Penticton long course with Todd Benson of Vernon 19th overall in the amateur division, in 11:46:55. Benson was fourth out of 19 in his 45-49 age group.
Dale McAllister of Vernon was 53rd in the amateur category and sixth in a field of 25 in his 50-54 age group, in 13:06:03. The full course entailed a 3.8k swim, 180k bike and 42.2k run.
Nicole Heffner of Vernon was 97th and sixth in a field of 11 in the women’s 40-44 group, in 14:54:36.
Shanda Hill of Vernon took 102nd in 15:03:58, also good for sixth out of 11 in women’s 30-34. Her father, Don Hill, was 120th in 15:42:49, 12th out of 18 in men’s 55-59.
Michael Wray of Vernon finished 113th in 15:19:16, taking 15th out of 19 in men’s 45-49.
In the short course portion of the half, Sarah Filice of Vernon was 164th in 3:20:22, while Catherine Cotter of Coldstream finished 200th in 6:06:15.
Angie MacDougall of Coldstream claimed 268th in 6:31:27 and Wendy Schroeder of Coldstream was 339th in 7:06:53.