Executing a phenomenal run performance in her first ITU long distance event of her career, Aussie Sarah Crowley was crowned victorious at the 2017 Penticton ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championship.
After batting a time deficit from being down in the swim and chasing a race leader for the entirety of the bike, Crowley bypassed the frontrunner in the second lap of the run to grab the excitedly grab the finish tape to seize her first-career world title.
“It is pretty unreal. I didn’t go into today expecting that at all, everything just went to plan other than falling over at the start of the swim. But I did have a good day though, I worked pretty hard after that, but yeah I had a good day and I am really happy,” Crowley said of her victory.
Coming in second place was Helle Frederiksen (DEN) who dominated the first two legs of the race before finally giving it up to Crowley in the run. Taking the final spot on the podium then went to Canadian Heather Wurtele, who battled hard for her position after a not-so successive swim.
The women’s field toed up to the start list with a stacked roster filled with talent on longer distance courses.
With three-kilometres in the Okagangan Lake to welcome the swim, the calm waters were a nice escape from windy conditions that left the lake choppy in days prior.
In the longer format the field tends to find some gaping and this was no exception. Frederiksen was the clear swim leader, exiting back onto the sandy beach alone but with only a slight advantage. The chase that included Camillia Pedersen (DEN), Leanda Cave (GBR) and Rachel McBride (CAN) were hot on the tails of Frederiksen.
The bike was crushed by Frederiksen, she grabbed hold of the tiny lead she earned in the water and ran with it. Lap after lap she gained speed and had created a gap for herself to ride solo untouched.
The chase group contained McBride, Pedersen, Wurtele, Crowley, Jennifer Spieldenner (USA) and Cave.
Upon entering the run, Frederiksen had gained a healthy lead of minutes. But running a 30-kilometre distance was a first for the Danish as her previous ITU races were at the Olympic level, which meant it was an unknown of what her body could do.
Holding firm in the first 10 kilometres, Frederiksen started to slow her pace and the women chasing her, who have more experience on the longer course, were closing in.
Crowley then made her move on the second lap, sending it into overdrive and bypassing Frederiksen for the first position. Her running legs did not falter and she continued right into the finish chute to grab the tape and a first-time title.
Frederiksen followed near four minutes after, excited to get back on the ITU podium after years. The last podium spot was then left to Wurtele just 50 seconds after, who was hopeful of catching Frederiksen, but couldn’t manage to do so.