Kabush defends Xterra title
Danelle Kabush defended her Xterra Canmore Enduro Triathlon crown with ease and Cal Zaryski fended off all challengers, Saturday (Aug. 4) and Sunday (Aug. 5) at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Swimming three kilometres in Quarry Lake, mountain biking 40 kms of the Nordic Centre’s most challenging singletrack and running 20 kms, the second annual event attracted more than 50 competitors from across the province.
Kabush shaved minutes off her top result from last year, finishing the swim in 47:50 and the bike in 2:43:46. She finished two half Iron Man races recently and said her fitness has improved over last year.
“I’m a little fitter and getting better at the longer stuff,” Kabush said.
This year, athletes had to finish the swim, then follow it with the bike three hours later. That took its toll on the bike times, Kabush said.
“I was feeling the swim during the bike,” Kabush said.
She’s one of the leading Xterra off-road athletes in the world, and recently won the Xterra Mountain Championship in Denver. Having lived in Canmore previously, she hopes the experience will also help her compete at the Xterra National Chammpionships on Sept. 4.
“I definitely have the course dialed, confident knowing the lines to take,” Kabush said.
Zaryski, the president of Xterra Canada, won the race in convincing fashion in his first attempt. He finished the swim in 48 minutes flat, and took 2:36:04 to finish the bike portion.
“It’s definitely gruelling. There’s no doubt about that,” he said.
Zaryski entered the race mere days after finishing the TR3 TransRockies mountain biking event.
“The 40 km mountain bike was harder than most of the stages in TR3. I wanted to go out easy and see how the body was feeling. My second lap was steady until the last three kilometres,” Zaryski said.
Spanned out over two days, the race tested the endurance of each competitor, Zaryski said.
“When I do a regular Xterra race, the duration is two-and-a-half hours. But this is ultra endurance,” he said. “You have to have the combination of endurance, technique, agility and aerobic power.”
Kyle McLaughlin was the top Canmore finisher, grabbing second place in the two-day race.
Athletes could also enter individual events. Bo Simpson was the fastest swimmer, finishing the course with a time of 40:21. Mike Blennerhasse was the fastest solo mountain biker, clocking 40 kms in 2:33:37.
Racing for Team MitoCanada, Blaine Penny was the top trail runner, finishing with a time of 1:39:40.
“It’s a lot of hills – a real test in pacing and discipline, “ Penny said. There’s lots of single track, which is super fun. You’re so focused on where your feet are going, you forget about the time.”
His first 10 kms was strong, however, he pushed himself on the second half of the race to lock up the win.
Penny wanted to use the race as a tune-up for the Iron Legs 50 mile run on August 18 in Kananaskis Country. That race has 20,000 feet of elevation change as it loops around Moose Mountain.
The Xterra National Championships are in Canmore this September.
In order to post comments on our web site, you must validate your email address. An email was sent to you when you registered that included an activation link. If you have not yet done so, please click on the link to activate your account.
If you did not receive your activation email, please click here to have it resent.