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Triathlon races to silver anniversary

Silver was the medal of the hour in downtown Brockville.

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Silver was the medal of the hour in downtown Brockville.

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The 1000 Islands Triathlon/Duathlon/Run marked its 25th anniversary on Sunday. More than 300 athletes from Ontario, Quebec and New York took part in the annual gathering staged by Somersault Events.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better day from every perspective,” said Christine McKinty, a partner in Somersault.

Although it was sunny and very warm Sunday morning, humidity was not an issue. The triathlon and the 10K/5K run both started at 8:30 a.m.

The swim course was contained to an area of the St. Lawrence River east of Blockhouse Island. The cycle route included King Street East and County Road 2 through Elizabethtown-Kitley and into Augusta Township. Bikes were driven from and back to Armagh S. Price Park.

The run course extended around Blockhouse Island and up and down the Brockville Railway Tunnel.

The finish line was at the top of the Water Street hump behind city hall.

This was the second year the railway tunnel was part of the run course; the restored attraction officially opened to the public shortly before the 2017 triathlon. The unique and magical character of the railway tunnel is what makes the 1000 Islands venue “a signature event,” according to McKinty. She noted that one of this year’s participants told her the Brockville run is the best he has experienced in his 20 years taking part in such events.

Triathlon participants get moving at the 8:30 a.m. start beside Blockhouse Island on Sunday. More than 300 athletes were on hand for the 25th 1000 Islands Triathlon-Duathlon-Run. (Tim Ruhkne, Special To Postmedia Network)
Triathlon participants get moving at the 8:30 a.m. start beside Blockhouse Island on Sunday. More than 300 athletes were on hand for the 25th 1000 Islands Triathlon-Duathlon-Run. (Tim Ruhkne, Special To Postmedia Network)

The 1000 Islands venue tends to cater more to local and regional athletes and first-timers who don’t want to go to the bigger events, McKinty said.

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The first Olympic triathlon participant to cross the finish line after a 1,500-metre swim, 40.2-kilometre ride, and 10-kilometre run was James Young of Ottawa in a time of 2:14:49.3.

Following Young in second place was Jesse Langevin with a time of 2:18:54.1. In third place and the first woman to finish the Olympic triathlon was Katie Peach at 2:21:04.2. The Olympic triathlon had 53 competitors.

Other first-place finishers in the various events on Sunday morning included Andrew Machan in the sprint triathlon (1:08:47.9) and Brad Stokes in the super sprint triathlon (1:15:10.1). Each of the three elements in those two versions are a shorter distance than the Olympic triathlon.

Placing first in the 10-kilometre run with a time of 39:33.8 was Adam Leroux. Skylar Ng finished first in the 5kilometre with a time of 21:20.6.

Local participant Corey Henry completed his first sprint triathlon at the 1000 Islands event on Sunday; he clocked a time of 1:49:19.1. Henry said it was hard and agreed the tunnel portion of the run was much cooler than the outdoor segment on Blockhouse. “You get dripped on, but it’s refreshing,” Henry added.

The Somersault Events Series includes triathlons and duathlons in several locations throughout Eastern Ontario in the spring and summer. McKinty estimated there were between 30 and 40 volunteers at the Brockville event.

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