April 19, 2013, San Diego, Calif (ISN) – Two 20-year-old Canadian triathletes, Joanna Brown and Ellen Pennock, celebrated a solid World Triathlon Series Olympic distance debut at the birthplace of the sport in San Diego, California on Friday afternoon.
Brown, of Carp, Ont., was rock solid in 18th spot with a time of 2:02:39, while Calgary’s Ellen Pennock ran to 25th spot at 2:03:50 after crossing the finish line with the world’s best on the historic 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10-kilometre run course.
“I didn’t realize how big this was for me until I got to the start line today. I just completed my first WTS Olympic distance race and it was a lot of fun,” said Brown. “I had little expectations. I just wanted to come here and show my training by having one of the fastest run times.”
Competing in just her second year as a senior athlete, the long-legged Brown has had success in every step of her development. After winning the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, Brown also celebrated a bronze medal at the Under-23 World Championships one year ago. The rising star in the sport ran to the international podium multiple times during her rookie season as an elite athlete last year while competing in development level Pan American Cup races.
“I noticed the difference here is the transitions are so tight,” said Brown, who has competed in one sprint distance World Triathlon Series race last year. “All of the things we talk about in training – like the start and the transitions – everyone here are experts at it, and there is no margin for error. The competition is tough at Continental Cup races, but the field here is so deep and it is another level.”
Brown is one of a handful of young Canadian women loaded with potential while climbing their way to the elite level in triathlon racing.
“This is a really exciting time for us and I love being at these events with the other Canadians,” said Brown. “It is an individual sport, but we are a team working together and I can feel that I am a part of something bigger. We are all learning and getting faster together and working towards Rio.”
Brown’s teammate, Ellen Pennock, who is another rock star on the run, had a stellar day in the water after posting the fifth fastest time in the 1.5-kilometre swim. Quebec’s Manon Letourneau was the only other Canadian in the field, and placed 34th at 2:11:24.
Gwen Jorgensen made history becoming the first American athlete to win a World Triathlon Series race. Jorgensen clocked a winning time of 1:59:59. Jorgensen edged out Non Stanford, of Great Britain, who posted a time of 2:00:03. Australia’s Emma Moffatt rounded out the podium in third place also at 2:00:03.
Edmonton’s Paula Findlay was set to make her first WTS start of the season in San Diego, but withdrew Friday morning after tweaking a leg injury in training yesterday.
“Paula’s injury is completely unrelated to anything that she has dealt with in the past and is very, very minor,” said Libby Burrell, high-performance director, Triathlon Canada. “Paula is in phenomenal shape –dboth physically and mentally – so this is unfortunate. We could have started her, but there are much bigger events to come this year that we did not want to risk.”
The top men’s triathletes on the globe will race head-to-head on Saturday in San Diego.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.
Complete Results (1.5-kilometre swim, 40 kilometre bike, 10 kilometre run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Gwen Jorgensen, USA, 1:59:59; 2. Non Stanford, GBR, 2:00:03; 3. Emma Moffatt, AUS, 2:00:03; 4. Anne Haug, GER, 2:00:06; 5. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 2:01:31
18. Joanna Brown, Carp, Ont., 2:02:39; 25. Ellen Pennock, Calgary, 2:03:50; 34. Manon Letourneau, Quebec, 2:11:24.