A Christina Lake native finished first in the eighth annual Pharmasave Christina Lake Triathlon while his girlfriend was the first female to cross the finish line.
Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS) alumnus Simmon Hofstetter, who currently resides in Edmonton, took top spot, with a time of 1:12:54 while significant other Laura Filipo was first amongst ladies to cross the finish line and third overall with a 1:23:03 time.
“I heard that a lot of people from out of town are coming back to compete so I wanted to make sure Grand Forks and Christina Lake had a chance at the top,” Hofstetter quipped shortly after crossing the finish line.
As for Filipo, she said she pushed herself to the limit in order to finish as high as she did.
“It hurts. (Kelowna’s Ashlee Robinson, who was second amongst the ladies) really pushed it, so it was good,” she said.
While there were weather concerns leading up, the rain held off for the most part but Hofstetter and Filipo both noticed that it had been raining.
Hofstetter said it was more noticeable on the cycling portion.
“As you were coming around Thompson Road, there were a couple of points where it was sketchy and you could feel your wheel kind of eke out but it was good,” he explained.
“It was really cold at the start. I did not want to get in the water but it was perfect weather for the ride and the run, it was not too hot,” Filipo said, adding that she didn’t have a problem with the road conditions.
“It was amazing,” she said when asked about the road. “I was really impressed with how fast the clean up was, it was awesome. They were on it right away; they did a really good job. Compared to Edmonton it was (good).”
Planners did worry about the weather, as a Friday night storm wrecked havoc, but Sunday morning’s rain wasn’t going to prevent the triathlon from taking place.
“We were out here (Saturday) for about five hours and we had to redo somethings – fencing came down in the windstorm, trees came down across some of the pathways – but the only thing that was going to keep us out of the water would’ve been lightning,” explained Grand Forks Recreation Director of Recreation and Facilities John Mackey.
“We had a little bit of rain during the KidSprint event but overall, the numbers were up over 25 per cent over last year,” Mackey said. “There was one collision but other than that, it was an absolutely super event.”
Hofstetter and Filipo both echoed Mackey’s sentiments, as both had nothing but praise for organizers and the event – both seemed to hint that they would be back to defend their titles in 2013 as well.
“It’s a great race, we’ll be coming back year after year I think,” said Hofstetter, who wanted to thank retired GFSS teacher Murray Behl for getting him into triathlon.
“It’s a really cool atmosphere, everyone’s really chill and that kid’s race this morning was awesome. I’m totally going to come back and do this year after year. It was really fun,” Filipo said.
Grand Forkers Todd and Sally Benson (the Bensonians) took first place in the team category, while Rossland’s Madeline Kinghorn, Nelson’s Keiran Marchand and Grand Forks’ Ethen Argue, Liam McKinlay and Miles Semenoff (The Tri Guys) and Rossland’s Natasha Rboine, Daniela Sirois and Jasmine Drolet (The Dudettes) took top spot in the girls, boys and team categories respectively in the KidSprint event.
For female’s between 40 and 54, Nelson’s Denise Uhrynuk took top honours while Christina Lake’s Joan Thompson did the same for the 55-plus category.
Trail’s Mike Konkin was first amongst males between 40 and 54, while Grand Forks’ Randy Trerise did the same for the 55-plus age category.
Castlegar’s Kelsey Law and local Sandon Dribney took first for female and males 13 to 18 respectively.
According to Mackey, people wanting to sign up for the 2013 triathlon can do so in January 2013.
Complete results can be found at Grand Forks Recreation’s website: www.rdkb.com/Services/RecreationCulture/GrandForks.aspx