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Rachel Macatee, Communications Coordinator

June 16, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Record numbers attended the classic Saunders Subaru Victoria Triathlon today with over 1000 participants swimming, biking and running across the beautiful Saanich Peninsula.

Calm water and flawless weather conditions greeted the athletes in the early morning on Elk Lake, setting the day up perfectly for record-breaking performances. Elliot Holtham of Vancouver set a new course record of 3:48:41, besting the second-place finisher by a full 10 minutes. Holtham, who was coming back from a serious concussion, was very pleased with his race, stating, “I had a good swim, pushed the bike to open a gap. This is my first time on the course. I have always wanted to do this race”. Startling race times were not limited to the pros, but ranged right across the course. Valerie Gonzales of Victoria set a new course record in the women’s Half Iron 65-69 age group – beating out the past record holder by 57 minutes.

First place on the women’s side, and another first-timer on this course, Karen Thibodeau said, “this is one of the nicest bike rides and runs I’ve done. The lake trail is such a treat after running on pavement in other races”. Thibodeau had a break-through performance last year when she finished 2nd at Ironman Canada. Adding to the excitement of the day, 20 Ironman Canada spots were awarded providing an opportunity for athletes to compete at the brand new, and sold out, course in Whistler. Participants competed not only the in the traditional half Ironman distance but also in the shorter Olympic and Sprint distances, and some on relay teams.

The next stop for the Series is the inaugural Subaru Saskatoon Triathlon on June 30th featuring a “Pro Chase” and a 60 minute feature by TSN – Canada’s Sports Leader.

Pro Division

Half Iron:


1. Elliot Holtham – Vancouver, BC – 3:48:41

2. Andrew Russell – Sidney, BC – 3:58:32

3. Wade Carlson – Penticton, BC – 4:10:45


1. Karen Thibodeau – Victoria, BC – 4:22:38

2. Sue Huse – Missoula, MT – 4:26:54

3. Gillian Moody – North Vancouver, BC – 4:30:15

Overall Male Olympic Champion: Robert Johnson – Chilliwack, BC

Overall Female Olympic Champion: Cheryl Orlovsky – North Vancouver, BC

Overall Male Sprint Champion: Jack Toland – Kirkland, WA

Overall Female Sprint Champion: Chelsea Raymond – Lions Bay, BC

Subaru Western Triathlon Series:

The Subaru Western Triathlon Series begins with Canada’s only May long distance triathlon at Shawnigan Lake, featuring the newly repaired and absolutely spectacular Kinsol Trestle. Next stop is the Saunders Subaru Half Iron event held in Victoria at beautiful Elk Lake. Up next, and new to the roster this year, is the sunny city of Saskatoon; featuring Pike Lake Provincial Park, charming country roads and an exciting downtown finish in the lovely River Valley! In July Vancouver hosts the Series along the magnificent Spanish Banks beaches, framed by the city skyline and the panoramic Coastal Mountains. The final stop in September is mountain-bound Banff National Park, where participants swim in pristine Two Jack Lake, cycle the famous Minnewanka Loop and finish down breathtaking Banff Avenue with Cascade Mountain providing the perfect backdrop.