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With perfect weather conditions, over 400 athletes raced Sunday in what could be one of the most beautiful triathlon venues in the world. The Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon treated its athletes to a race course that included a trip through the majestic west coast forest along the Trans Canada Trail and by the historic Kinsol Trestle built in the 1920’s to connect Victoria with the northern parts of Vancouver Island. This was the first race in the 2009 Subaru West Coast Triathlon Series, and also served as the Provincial Long Course Championships.
The women’s race turned in to a battle between defending champion Rachel Kiers, of Vancouver, and Dutch Olympian Lisa Mensink. Mensink lead out of the water posting a new swim course record and held the lead until the final loop of the bike giving up a 1 minute lead to Kiers as she headed on to the run. Mensink passed Kiers at the 2k mark and never looked back claiming her first victory at the Half Ironman distance.
Mensink commented, “I am excited to be racing this distance. In April I was 6th at the California Ironman 70.3 in my first try, and with the win here today it gives me the confidence to compete at the 70.3 World Championships this fall. I will still race some World Cups this summer to stay in the Olympic loop – being competitive for the podium in London 2012 is still on my radar.” On the men’s side Stephen Kilshaw, earned a convincing 23 minute victory aided somewhat by the withdrawal of his mentor and Ironman Canada champion Jasper Blake, and Chris Boudreaux, the Portland native and 2008 Subaru Sooke Champion, who both withdrew part way through the race due to injuries suffered in training. Kilshaw and Kiers’ placings also earned them the title of 2009 BC Provincial Long Course Champion.
The event had a strong Olympic flavour; benefiting from the appearance of some Olympians. Participating across the different events included Olympic Gold and Silver medalist Simon Whitfield, Gold Medal Rower Ben Rutledge, Gold medal Paralympian swimmer, Stephanie Dixon, and Olympian Brent McMahon.
Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon Results, May 24, 2009
1. Lisa Mensink 4:31:09
2. Rachel Kiers 4:36:36
3. Annett Kamenz 4:37:43
1. Stephen Kilshaw 4:03:43
2. Robert Shypitka 4:26:18
3. James Fry 4:31:30
The next stop on the Subaru West Coast Triathlon Series will be the very popular New Balance Victoria Triathlon on June 21. For more information on the series and full results go here TriSeries.ca.