Saanich triathlete ends season in grand fashion

Brennen Smith takes second at World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago

Brennen Smith in the bike portion of the ITU Grand Final in Chicago. Smith won silver in the 16-to-19 age group.

Brennen Smith in the bike portion of the ITU Grand Final in Chicago. Smith won silver in the 16-to-19 age group.

When Saanich’s Brennen Smith hit the finish line of the World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago on Sept. 17 he started drinking a bottle of Gatorade.

It took him three hours to finish it.

It was a “light case” of heat stroke but nothing that was going to keep Smith from running a Grand Final triathlon at full bore.

Despite the suffering, Smith, an 18-year-old who lives in Royal Oak, won silver in the 16 to 19 age group of the World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago on Sept. 17.

“I felt strong even though I was fighting it,” Smith said.

Regardless, it’s not ideal to throw up during a race. While on the run course, Smith’s body rejected the water he’d managed to drink during the bike.

The stroke started while the athletes, clad in black wetsuits, stood under the the sun in 30 C heat to wait for the race to begin. (Athletes couldn’t enter the water to cool down as other races were starting concurrently.)

He finished the sprint distance (750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and 5km run) race in one hour and 44 seconds. It was 11 seconds back of winner Timothy Winslow of the U.S. and 11 seconds ahead of the bronze medalist, another U.S. athlete, Jack Toland.

It’s the biggest win of Smith’s young career, a bookend to a strong summer, and the stroke leaves him wondering how much more he could have given.

Already this summer Smith finished fourth at the Western Canada Summer Games, second at the Kelowna Apple Triathlon (junior elite sprint) and ninth in the Edmonton stop of the World Triathlon Series (junior elite).

“I’m really excited with how [the Grand Final] went, a great end to the season,” Smith said.

Smith came out of the swim in the lead group and it was quickly down to two in the lead. He was running well when he was caught with two kilometres remaining by Winslow.

“The swim went really well, I found some solid feet in the water [someone the same speed] and managed to stick right behind them,” Smith said.

Once on the bikes, Smith and his fellow leader managed to “drop” their fellow cyclist. The two then made use of the non-draft rules as best they could, taking turns passing each other while “making small drafts” in each pass.

“It’s actually hard [to adhere to the draft rules], you have to keep your distance,” Smith said.

Winslow eventually overtook Smith for the gold medal with the seventh best run split, 17:56, to Smith’s 10th best split of 18:10.

Last year Smith relocated from Saskatchewan to a home near Saanich Commonwealth Place to focus on triathlon. This fall he plans to stay while studying long distance through Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. He’ll even compete for the Thompson Rivers WolfPack in the Canada West cross-country season, eyeing the B.C. provincial championship.

 

Just Posted

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Chef Trevor Randle leads a June 21 online cooking featuring recipes – beef zesty lettuce wraps, blueberry strudel and blueberry spritzer. (Courtesy We Heart Local BC)
Free online cooking course explores B.C. blueberries and beef

Chef Trevor Randle calls them the province’s most flavourful foods

Willows Beach in Oak Bay. (Black Press Media file photo)
Seven days of sun set to shine on Greater Victoria

Special weather statement warns of higher than usual temperatures

Island Savings kick-starts the Equipped to Heal campaign with $120,000. (Courtesy Victoria Hospitals Foundation)
Latest Victoria Hospitals Foundation campaign targets $1M for mental health

Goal is to outfit new 19-bed unit at Eric Martin Pavilion

Google Maps shows significant traffic backups after a crash reported shortly before noon on Father’s Day, June 20. (Google Maps)
Father’s Day crash in Saanich closes lane of McKenzie Avenue

Police say there were injuries, traffic impacted

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read