Tamara Jewett overcomes 4-minute deficit to prevail at Canadian triathlon championship

Former University of Toronto track and cross-country runner Tamara Jewett was victorious in the women’s race at the Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship on Saturday, defeating 2016 Olympian Amélie Kretz and three-time Ironman 70.3 champion Rach McBride.

Jewett posted a time of two hours one minute 42 seconds in the 1,500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10 km run events on a cool and windy day in Caledon, Ont.

WATCH | Tamara Jewett wins women’s event:

Toronto’s Tamara Jewett wins the women’s event at the Lululemon Canadian Pro Triathlon Championships. 0:43

Kretz finished in 2:03:02 followed by McBride in 2:03:40.

Saturday’s swim event was performed as a time trial separate from the bike and run so athletes began the bike competition in order of their swim finish.

Jewett, in her second season competing as a pro, posted a time of 19:23 in the swim for a sixth-place finish while Kretz was nearly two minutes faster in 17:26 for second. However, Jewett edged Kretz for third in the bike (1:07:22) and ruled the run, making up a four-minute deficit to defeat the latter by more than two minutes (34:59-37:09).

Following a breakthrough 2018 season in her first full campaign in triathlon, Jewett broke her collarbone last summer before placing third at Ironman 70.3 Buenos Aires in November to qualify for the 2020 world championships in Taupo, New Zealand.

WATCH | Kretz didn’t let COVID-19 stop her regimen:

Canadian triathlete Amelie Kretz made sure that she got her training in during the COVID-19 pandemic as she continued her push towards qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. 1:36

But worlds was cancelled in July to do the coronavirus pandemic and rescheduled for Sept. 17-18, 2021 in St. George, Utah.

Laundry tops men’s field

A series of injuries led Jewett to try swimming and biking for cross-training before the 30-year-old transitioned to triathlon.

C3 Canadian Cross Training Club in Bolton, Ont., offered its private access to the swim and bike venues for Saturday’s event, which offered $20,000 in prize money while each athlete received a $500 appearance fee to cover expenses.

Guelph, Ont., resident Jackson Laundry crossed the finish line in 1:47:26 for a 63-second victory over Brent McMahon of Kelowna, B.C. in the men’s race while Montreal’s Jeremy Briand, who sat sixth before the 10 km run, won that event in 32:34 to place third overall.

It was a slow start for Laundry, who finished ninth in the 10-man field in the swim event before defeating McMahon to win the bike competition by one minute 33 seconds. Laundry and McMahon went 2-3 in the running event, clocking 33:50 and 34:18, respectively.

WATCH | Laundry tops men’s field:

Jackson Laundry places first at the Lululemon Canadian Pro Triathlon Championships. 0:51

Laundry, 27, competed in virtual cycling races against other pro triathletes earlier in the coronavirus pandemic and training through the summer with Guelph-based triathletes Cody Beals and Taylor Reid, both of whom raced Saturday.

Before the COVID-19 shutdown, Laundry finished second in the Ironman 70.3 competition in Campeche, Mexico in March.

“Last year I broke my collarbone [in the Ironman 70.3 world championships in Nice, France] and I broke my scapula in 12 places so I had surgery and my shoulder was really messed up for a while,” Laundry told guelphtoday.com earlier this summer. “If that race didn’t happen [in March], it would’ve been over a year without a race.”

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