Olds resident wins all-female triathalon

Tuesday, May 08, 2012 02:05 pm | Paul Frey

Hillie Van T’Klooster of Olds topped all competitors with a time of 35 minutes and 50 seconds at the Tri-Diva-Tri mini-triathlon in Olds on Sunday. Van T’Klooster finished the 250-metre swim in five minutes and 46 seconds, the 8.5-kilometre bike in 18:59 and the 2.5-km run in 11:07. Van T’Klooster competed in the 45 to 49-year-old category.

Van T’Klooster beat out India McIsaac (U-16 division) by 1:21 and Janae Hoel (U-16 division) by 2:37.

There were 269 participants in the all-female race ranging in age from 12 to 64. Deanne Jabs, the race director, said the distances were purposely shorter to make it easier for first-timers to give it a try.

The venue in Olds was excellent, Jabs said, with great co-operation from the college, the Olds Aquatic Centre, and several local volunteers who came out.

“It was fabulous, a great venue….We had Olds people come out to volunteer and so it was great,” she said.

Christie Johnston, one of the participants who competed in her first triathlon, said she had a great time testing out the course. She said the toughest part of the race was dealing with the wind, especially on her bike.

“It was my first triathlon and it was really fun to participate in. I’m happy I finished,” said the Calgary resident.

Jamie Gibbs, a Cochrane resident who had competed in the race twice before when it was held in Airdrie, said she preferred this bike course to the one in Airdrie.

“It was good. It was nice and flat. It was good for a beginner race,” she said.

Jody Wacowich, a Carbon resident, said she found the race conditions suitable.

“It was a great race. The weather was pretty good … and the course was nice and flat,” she said.

Emma Uhlenberg topped the 16 to 19-year-old division, completing the race in 42:16, while Brittani Hoehn finished first in the 20-24-year-old category with a time of 42:59. Brett McCaughey finished first in the 25-29-year-old category with a time of 40:24 while Laura McCrossin finished first in the 30-34-year-old division with a time of 42:24. Sheri Lupul placed first in the 35-39-year-old category with a 38:26 time. Leoni Kelly, Wanda Watson, Virginia Merrick and Linda Johnston topped the 40-44, 50-54, 55-59 and 60-plus age categories, respectively.

Leapingdog Racing which put on the event, partnered with Mito Canada in support of Mitochondrial Disease, a rare disorder resulting from the failure of the mitochondria, which power the cells of the body. The disease results from spontaneous or inherited mutations of DNA.

Blaine Penny, chief executive officer of Mito Canada, a registered charity that supports people with the disease, said he was pleased the race decided to raise funds for Mito Canada, which aims to raise awareness about a not-well understood disease from either the public or research community.

“It means a lot. Every time we do an event like this, it helps us raise awareness. It also … gives me a little bit of hope towards improving the lives of people who are affected by the disease and Evan (Penny’s young son) as well. Events like these are very in line with our mission in terms of raising awareness,” he said.

Mito Canada holds about three to four fundraising events of its own each year, and gets support from another 10 to 15 organizations each year that raise funds on behalf of the organization.

$1,000 was raised for Mito Canada.


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