Down to the final hour, trees were being cleared from the course for Woody’s Triathlon.
Race Director Shaun Richer, however, did not doubt that the two-day event would go ahead despite the massive windstorm that ripped through Central Alberta last week. And sure enough, it did.
“The weekend was awesome. Obviously we had a few challenges this week. This is Alberta … obviously a bit crazy with the windstorm that came through. Tore up the course a little bit. Some trees had fallen along the course,” Richer said Sunday.
He said the City of Red Deer and Michener Centre staff were fabulous at getting the course ready in the ninth hour.
A huge crowd gathered for the annual Kids of Steel race at the Michener Centre, a longstanding tradition for the triathlon, on Saturday. Almost 400 athletes participated.
Richer said it’s always a proud moment for him when the young athletes cross the finish line.
“It was very cool … it’s neat to see all those kids when they come across the finish line to see those smiles. Really, that’s what it’s all about because that’s the future of our sport,” Richer said.
In the 5-7 age group, Brody McGown had the fastest time of 12 minutes and 39 seconds, followed by Reese Moborg at 13:09 and Dane St. Dennis third (13:19).
Grady Falk was the fastest 8-9 year-old racer (22:00). Colton Poole was second in the category (26:04) and Lena Paterson was third (26:11).
Reef Lehocky was the top athlete in the 10-11 age group (24:37), followed closely by Anwar Tindall (26:39). Tristan Van Vliet was third (27:16). The fastest female in the age group was Ashlyn Mack (26:58), with Corey Ovie in second (27:23) and Sophia Caraca-Hart in third (28:33).
Holly Moores was the top racer in the 12-13 age group (38:11). Harbour Lehocky finished second in 43:47 and Lydia Johnson was third (44:10). Damian Petrucha was the first male to cross the line in 38:39, with Ethan Van Vliet second at 39:34 and Cameron Ovie third in 42:36.
Mika Eggink was first place overall in the 14-15 age category (42:43). Anthony Saenzcramer finished second in 46:49 and Owen Pimm was third (46:54). On the female side, Elizabeth McManus had the best time of 56:24, Emma Lacroix was second in 1:00:07 and Gina Pimm was third with a time of 1:02:05.
Sunday marked the first time in two years there was an adult race for the Woody’s.
“It’s been about two years so that’s something we’re proud about, to bring the adult race back again. We had about 160 athletes. We’re back on the map now,” Richer said.
Bo Simpson, 40, won the sprint race with a time of 1:06:56. He said the hill portion of the run was one of the hardest he’s seen over the course of his triathlon career.
“The bike course and the run course are some of the hardest I’ve seen for sprint distance. Luckily it wasn’t too hot,” he said. “At this point in my life I’m 40 years old, I want to stay fit, have fun and have something that’s going to motivate me everyday. I want to get better at what I’m doing everyday.”
Brett McPhedran was second in the sprint (1:07:55) and Tyler Johnston (1:10:52) was third.
In the junior sprint, Carter Blair took home first place in 1:13:07. Carli Berube, 17, was second and the top female in 1:16:43. The Calgary native has competed all across Canada and was happy with her time in her first trip to Red Deer.
Erik Sveinson was the second junior male to cross the finish line (1:17:50) and Benjamin Eggink was third (1:18:12). Jade Weber of Red Deer was the second junior female to cross the line (1:24:41) and Dawsin McDonald was third (1:29:57).
The Parkland Gas Guzzlers finished first in the team relay.