2009 Subaru Ironman Canada champion Jordan Rapp, whose injury kept him out of last year’s race, looks to reclaim his title on Sunday, August 28th in the 29th Annual Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon. It will not be an easy task, as last year’s champion, Viktor Zyemtsev, would prefer an ending more in his favour. To add a further twist to the plot, Rapp and Zyemtsev have to contend with 2008 Champion Bryan Rhodes and 2006 Champion Jasper Blake.
On the women’s side of the event, last year’s winner Meredith Kessler will race to add a second Subaru Ironman Canada championship to her growing list of accomplishments.
Zyemtsev, the Ukrainian native, has a total of 8 Ironman wins to his credit. He is the reigning Subaru Ironman Canada champion and a three-time Ironman Austria champion, posting impressive times in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 editions. Zyemtsev added wins at Ford Coeur d’Alene in 2005 and 2007, took the 2006 Ford Ironman USA Lake Placid title and has recently ventured into the half-Ironman distance with a 2010 win in Florida.
Not to be outdone, before his 2010 injury the younger Rapp was writing an impressive resume of his own. In addition to the 2009 Subaru Ironman Canada victory, Rapp set course records in the 2009 editions of Ford Ironman Arizona and the Vancouver International.
Always a threat is Blake, who lives and trains in Victoria, BC. He was the 2006 Subaru Ironman Canada Champion and has been one of the top four finishers three other times here since 2004.
The men’s field also features two multiple Ironman champions, Rhodes and Jason Shortis. New Zealander Rhodes has won Ironman titles four times, including his aforementioned Penticton win in 2008. Shortis of Australia has won five Ironman titles and recently placed third at the 2011 Ford Ironman Lake Placid.
Last year’s female champion Kessler aims to continue her stellar 2010 triathlon campaign, which also had her place second in both Ford Ironman St. George and Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene. Others to watch in the women’s pro field include MacKenzie Madison, who placed third in this event last year; Sara Gross, competing in her seventh Subaru Ironman Canada event, has 5th, 4th, and 2nd place Penticton finishes to her name; and Mary Beth Ellis, a perennial half-Ironman podium finisher.
The 29th edition of the Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon will take place in Penticton, BC and the Okanagan Valley. Athletes will be competing for a $75,000 pro prize and 65 age group qualifying spots for the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
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