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.

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

Graduating Saanich students have overcome hardship

Claremont and Reynolds Grade 12s among the recipients of scholarship from Horation Alger Association

Victoria Harbour most polluted on B.C. coast: study

City’s industrial past and more recently, pharmaceuticals, create high levels of pollutants

Watch for high winds today and tomorrow

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria. According to Environment… Continue reading

Experts to capture and collar 20 female deer in Oak Bay starting this month

Does sedated, examined, collared and ear tagged in latest phase of deer management plan

Victoria dog attacked by otters off Dallas Road

Off-leash dogs and wildlife can make for a poor mix, veterinary staffer says

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Saanich councillor wants tax credits for political donations

A Saanich councillor would like to see tax credits for residents who… Continue reading

St. Michael’s advance to finals at Senior Girls Basketball Provincials

St. Michael’s University School of Saanich and Alberni District Secondary School (Port… Continue reading

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals for Canada, and men’s hockey loss

Team Canada shines on the speed skating track, but fall short against the Czechs in hockey

Air ambulance used parking lot for patient transfer because it was most efficient option

Lack of certification for helipad at Comox Valley Hospital not a factor in decision

Saanich couple open Art in the Barn gallery

Converted horse barn now an art space

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Most Read