Brent McMahon and Jennifer Spieldenner crowned 2015 Challenge Penticton champions

31 August, 2015 – Valley First Challenge Penticton today crowned two new champions in Victoria BC’s Brent McMahon and Peoria, Illinois’s Jennifer Spieldenner. The 33rd edition of the long-distance triathlon was held today in Penticton and the surrounding area, over a 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21 km run. 

Italian-born, U.S. resident Davide Giardini lead the men’s field out of the water in 22:04, closely followed by Chris Braden and Brent McMahon. McMahon took the lead on the bike leg, clocking 2:14:08 for the 90 km course. He was followed into transition by local athlete Trevor Wurtele with Giardini slipping to into third. Each athlete held onto his place on the run, McMahon finishing the 21 km leg in 1:14:28 for a total time of 3:50:38.

“I wanted to go out and I wanted to win this event,” said McMahon. “It takes a lot of hard work to do that. There were great Canadians and great international athletes here. They didn’t make it easy on me.”

Image by Marathon Photo's
Brent McMahon – Image by Marathon Photo’s

Speildenner lead the women’s field out of the water in 23:28 with a commanding lead over Ellie Salthouse and Malindi Elmore who exited the lake together. Heather Lendway then registered the fastest bike split of the day at 2:32:18. The top five women then changed the order time and again during an exciting run leg, although once Spieldenner assumed the lead she extended it as she closed in on the finish. She stopped the clock at 4:25:09, with two-time winner Australian Carrier Lester in second and Colorado’s Lesley Smith in third.

“It felt amazing to win this race!” said Speildenner. “I really had to dig deep with the challenging course, elements, and competition. Valley First ChallengePenticton is so special because it’s a tough course that pushes you; the support from spectators and volunteers is amazing.”

“The Valley First ChallengePenticton professional race had everything a spectator would want,” said Michael Brown, co-race director, Valley First Challenge Penticton. “There were fast times, lead changes, and a dash of drama. Jennifer and Brent executed fantastic races today and are well deserving winners.”

“What a race!” said Zibi Szlufcik, CEO, ChallengeFamily, who flew from the organization’s head office in Germany to support the event. “Everyone at ChallengeFamily congratulates Brent and Jennifer on their wins today, following thrilling pro races each featuring a top-quality field.”

A total of 1,100 athletes toed the event’s start line. Athletes from across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific participated in the Challenge Half alongside the professional field, some in the longer Challenge Full, and others in relay events over both distances.

For more information about Valley First ChallengePenticton, head to

Men’s Results
1. Brent McMahon (CAN)      3:50:38
2. Trevor Wurtele   (CAN)      3:53:52
3. Davide Giardini  (USA)      3:57:23 
4. Jeff Symonds     (CAN)      3:58:50
5. Maik Twelsike    (USA)       4:01:20

Women’s Results
1. Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) 4:25:09
2. Carrie Lester            (AUS)  4:26:44
3. Lesley Smith             (USA) 4:27:44
4. Heather Lendway      (USA) 4:30:02
5. Malindi Elmore           (USA) 4:30:36

Full results are available HERE


The CHALLENGE FAMILY series of triathlons features 47 full and half distance races in 23 countries around the world, including the world’s largest long distance triathlon – CHALLENGE ROTH in Germany. The birthplace of the CHALLENGE FAMILY, CHALLENG EROTH now features over 5,500 athletes and 220,000 spectators and home to both world records held by Andreas Raelert (GER) and Chrissie Wellington (GBR). Since 2002, races throughout Europe, UK, Australasia, Asia, North America and South America have joined Roth. Together they provide athletes with a new experience of long distance racing with a strong focus on athlete and spectator experience, giving back to the community while respecting the legacy of sport and being committed to its continued growth. For further information on CHALLENGE FAMILY visit

Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.