Tri stars bite into Apple

The 29th annual Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon goes Aug. 19-21 doubling as the Canadian National Championships and ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup.

The 29th annual Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon goes Aug. 19-21 doubling as the Canadian National Championships and ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup.

The Kelowna Apple is the largest triathlon event in Canada and also a qualifier for the 2012 World Championships in New Zealand.

Paula Findlay, the world’s No. 2-ranked female triathlete, is expected to defend her Canadian title despite an injury which forced her to withdraw from the World Cup in her hometown of Edmonton earlier this month.

During the same meet, young Canuck, Kyle Jones, finished fourth, making him the first Canadian in 10 years to beat Canadian Olympic medal winner Simon Whitfield of Victoria.

Whitfield won the 2010 Canadian National Triathlon Championships and ITU Pan American Cup, coming in just two-tenths of a second ahead of Jones.

Findlay and other Elite athletes are currently in the French ski resort of Les Angles, in the Pyrenees Mountains for a three-week training block to prepare for the ITU World Championship Series Race in London, England, Aug. 6-7.

Richard Montgomery, president of the Kelowna Apple Triathlon Society (KATS), said: “We have been very lucky to be able to bring this national event to Kelowna for four years in a row. This will be our final year, at least for the next few years, so it will be very important for us to have as many people involved as possible.”

With close to 2,000 local, national and international event entries expected, more than 1,200 volunteer positions need to be filled.

“With less than a month to go before the event, we are positive that our volunteer community will again step forward to make the Apple one of the best organized triathlon events in Canada,” said Montgomery.

For those active triathletes or family members that want to swim, run or cycle while rubbing shoulders with some of Canada’s greatest triathletes, visit www.appletriathlon.com for more information. Registration fees are lowest before Aug. 1. The Apple offers races for all ages and stages.

It starts on the Friday with the open water swim, aquathon and a fun run, and continues on Saturday with Kids of Steel, the Try-a-Tri and Junior Elites. Sunday sees the business challenge relay, competitive age-groupers, and of course, the highlight event featuring Male and Female Elites.