A runner leaves the transition area as he begins the last leg, a 10 kilometre run, of the Langford Triathlon on Sunday morning. (Joel Tansey/News Gazette staff)

Langford triathletes praise course, Mother Nature

Roughly 200 athletes competed in a race that took them around the West Shore this morning

It took some coaxing, but the sun eventually shone down on the roughly 200 athletes participating in the Langford Triathlon this morning.

The Olympic race distance, which also took competitors through Colwood and Metchosin, started with a 1500 metre swim in the calm waters of Langford Lake and continued with a 38 kilometre bike ride around the West Shore.

A 10 kilometre run around the lake brought the athletes back to the finish line near Goudy Field.

Other competitors took part in the shorter sprint distance triathlon event while some opted to leave their swimsuits at home and compete in a bike/run duathlon.

The swim was done under overcast skies but the sun poked through about 90 minutes into the event while many racers were beginning to transition from the bike to the run.

Race director Stephanie Lewis said the conditions were ideal.

“So far it’s been a fantastic race,” she told the Gazette as athletes were continuing to cross the finish line. “The weather has co-operated and we haven’t had any mishaps so far. Everybody seems to be having a good time.”

Lewis also praised the course, a sentiment that was echoed by Langford racer Larry Wilson, who finished first among those in the sprint distance.

“It’s a nice quiet bike [ride]. The course is mostly flat so you can get some pretty good speed up. The run’s nice around the lake…you can just focus and you don’t have to worry about traffic,” he said.

Wilson, who emerged from the water near the front of the pack and took the lead during the bike ride, says the run was the toughest part for him as he mostly trains on his bike.

“I thought I was going to get passed on the run…I managed to suffer through it and hold on,” he laughed.

Victoria resident Manuel Rodriguez said the other athletes were encouraging while out on the course.

“It was a good atmosphere. When passing someone it’s ‘Hey, good job, you got it’,” he said.

Rodriguez used to live in the southern U.S. and has competed in triathlons in Oklahoma and Texas in the past. He noted that Victoria’s cooler weather was a welcome change.

For more information on the race and the Westshore Tri Club, visit westshoretriathlon.com

joel.tansey@goldstreamgazette.com

Twitter: @joelgazette