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PHOTOS: Hometown heroes win Penticton Peach Classic Triathlon

Jeff Symonds and Jen Annett came in first in the race on Sunday, July 16

Two well-known Penticton athletes took the win at the Peach Classic Triathlon on Sunday morning.

Last year’s Penticton Ironman winner Jeff Symonds high-fived cheering fans before he was the first person to come through the finish line on Lakeshore Drive at a time of 02:02:27.0.

Kelowna’s Cory Krist finished behind Symonds with a time of 02:04:49.0.

Less than 10 minutes later, it was Penticton professional triathlete Jen Annett winning in the women category at 02:14:13.0. Her son was ready for a big hug before she crossed the arch to win. Annett came in sixth overall and first for the women.

Naramata resident Sheri Fraser was the top finisher for the women’s 65-69 category. Several other Pentictonites finished in the top 10 including Lee Agur who finished eighth.

Derek Younge, an 80-year-old from Cochrane Alta., finished the race and came in first in his age group of 80-85.

For Symonds, he thinks his local knowledge of the area helped him come out on top.

“Having that local knowledge of the course, where the sun was going to be in on the swim and knowing Naramata, knowing the turns and knowing that hill,” said Symonds. “I got in the zone.”

Symonds said he had five nieces in town cheering him on. “That might have helped my win.”

Swimmers were in the water at Okanagan Lake at 6:30 a.m. waiting for the 7 a.m. race gun to go. From the beach they swam 1.5 kilometres, then switched to the bike where they raced 40 km up Vancouver Avenue hill to Naramata and back to go on foot for the last leg of the 10 km run to the finish line. The Peach Classic celebrates 40 years.

B.C.’s oldest triathlon almost folded last year but then was picked up by Penticton Triathlon Club.

READ MORE: B.C.’s oldest triathlon is this weekend

Symonds is excited for Penticton Ironman which is for pro male athletes this year.

“I did my practicum at Princess Margaret and Keremeos so hopefully I’ll have some of those students come cheer me on for Ironman.”

Pro athlete Jen Annett came in sixth overall and first for the women.

“I’m racing Lake Placid next weekend so my coaching instructions was to take it easy this race,” Annett said after her impressive finish.

As for the course, she thought it was really fun.

“It was fun. It was warm out but not too bad at all,” she said.

Annett beat Katie Mayer who finished with a time of 02:21:39.0. As a professional triathlete, Annett is disappointed she can’t compete in the Penticton Ironman this August.

“There is no pro women this year. It’s only the men, so Jeff will be competing. I’m sad. But I’m hoping pro women will come next year,” said Annett.

Sheri Fraser, had a third place finish for women in the Sprint distance, and a top finish in her age of 65-69 category.

“I haven’t done [a triathlon] in five years. I’m local so I got to sleep in my own bed, rode my bike down to compete and will ride my bike back home,” said Fraser.

Fraser used to be a race professional and has broken some records in the past but hasn’t competed professionally for sometime and hadn’t really trained for the Peach Classic but entered at the last minute.

“I’ll put my bike back in my garage and it will probably collect dust until next year.”

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