A contingent of Campbell Riverites battled a notoriously tough course at the Ironman 70.3 Canada triathlon in Whistler at the beginning of August to log two podium finishes.
Jaron Piercy was second in the men’s 18-24 age group with a time of four hours, 43 minutes and 37 seconds, while Barbara Polehoykie was third in the women’s 55-59 age group with a time of 5:38:36.
Piercy, who logged a personal best on the course by 10 minutes, said that his “race went exceptionally well.”
The 24-year-old said he started near the back of the pack for the race’s first discipline, an open-water swim, and had to navigate crowds of people for the 1.9 km swim.
But he had a fast 90 km bike, pulling into second place in his division, which he was able to hold on to for the 21 km run.
Polehoykie, a veteran of the event, said she thoroughly enjoyed this year’s race, which, with Penticton announced as the new host of Ironman Canada, could be the final time it’s held in Whistler.
“I had a blast,” she said.
Polehoykie, who began her triathlon journey back in 2003, is no stranger to the podium in Whistler. She was first in her age group in the half Ironman (also known as the 70.3 event– if you add all the mileage of the three events together, it equals 70.3) and was first in the full Ironman in 2018.
Ironman triathlons feature a 3.9 km swim, 180 km bike and a 42 kilometre run.
Polehoykie was disappointed with her swim. She said she got stuck behind a slow pack, but was able to pull into first place in her age group on the bike. In her favourite discipline, the 58 year old, reached a maximum speed of 73 km/h on one of the course’s downhills.
She knew some of the racers in her field well and figured three were faster runners than she was.
The first passed her at kilometre 16, then the next at kilometre 18.
“I knew they were coming,” she said. But as they passed, all she could do was smile, laugh and try to hold on to that final podium spot.
The other Campbell Riverite to compete in the Ironman 70.3 was Marie-Louise Mulder, who finished her second-ever half Ironman. She was 17th in the women’s 45-49 age group.
“I was super happy with my time,” she said.
Mulder said she appreciated all the beautiful scenery that was on display over the course.
Two other locals competed in the full Ironman.
Joseph Nelson was 16th in the men’s 45-49 age group, with a time of 11:12:21, while Rick Gammie was 42nd in the 55-59 age group with a time of 14:23:21.