Triathlon became a spectator sport at Willows Beach this past weekend. The first ever Oak Bay Eliminator Triathlon took place under perfect weather conditions. At 7am 7 athletes took to the chilly waters for a 200m swim in the first of 4 waves. With low tide taking place half way through the event it meant for a bit of a challenge as athletes had to navigate a rocky ocean bottom to exit the water. Once into transition each wave was off onto Beach Drive for a 5km hammerfest. 2.5km out and 2.5km back meant athletes were able to keep one another in site for the entire ride. On their return to Willows Beach, athletes were off of their bikes and onto the Esplanade for a FLAT and FAST 1km run (600m out/ 400m back) to the finish. The top 3 athletes in each heat went directly to the A final while the bottom half of each wave were forced to race in a semi-final in order to reach the B final. Out of the A final, 8 athletes were selected to the Grand Final at 9:40. Out of the B final, 4 athletes were selected to go through to the Grand Final. This meant that those going through on the consolation side not only had to race 4 times AND they had to go directly from the B Final to Grand Final 5 minutes later.
The event was fantastic to watch and kept family and spectators buzzing. The Grand Final was a real showdown between David Dallin, Russ Anderson and Patrick Howell. Dallin managed to hold the nice size lead he had off of the bike, but Patrick Howell charged hard off of the bike to pass Anderson mid way through the 1km run and close in on Dallin. In the women’s event, Sandy Wilson was first to charge onto the run, but Jill Ramstead (straight out of the B Final) had the speed on the run to pass Wilson early and charge to the finish for the victory. Emma Mcmillan was not far behind in 3rd. The Grand Final was very exciting to watch as the athletes were all off the bike within close to one minute of each other.
This event was a fund raising event for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre so we would like to thank all of those who donated online and at the event. We would like to thank Race Sponsors; Arbutus Physiotherapy and Health Centre for providing coffee and space blankets to keep athletes warm between heats, VI Fitness for being at the event and providing athletes with complimentary passes, Trek Pro City for providing water bottles to all of the athletes and Kick Ass Coffee who donated a number of bags of coffee for draw prizes. Events like this don’t happen without volunteers out there keeping the athletes safe and on course. A huge thank you to everyone that gave up their morning to make this event a success right out of the gate.
Planning has already begun for the 2015 Eliminator. Whether you are a seasoned pro or looking to race your first triathlon be sure to put it on your race calendar in 2015!