In Pictures: Record turnout at Agate Man Triathlon on Haida Gwaii

With swimsuits and paddleboards, the competitors splash into a 500-metre swim in Pure Lake. (Haida Gwaii Recreation)
A record 57 people signed up for this year’s Agate Man Triathlon / hlG̱a hlk̲’aats iihlangaa. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Ian Dalziel of Whistler finishes in style. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Ryan Foott ran the final stretch with eyes closed. Working as a treeplanter in smoky Fort St. John, Foott said he heard about the Agate Man Triathlon just in time to book a ferry over. He bought a bike and swam in the local pool to get ready, but the bike let him down when one pedal fell off in Masset — undeterred, Foott ran the bike the rest of the way and still finished well. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Adrianna St. George gets a high-five from Mike Hull after finishing first among women solo racers, and fourth overall. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Barrett Johnson and Hilary Thorpe made a photo finish. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Jessica Ruskin flies to the finish line after competing in the team event. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Caroline Walker is all smiles at the finish. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Super dad Ben Davidson gives new meaning to “pushing it.” Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Toni Lynn-Davidson had the best cheering section, with posters showing her first Agate Man Triathlon 20 years ago. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
One fast family came third in the Agate Man relay: Laura Holmes-Saltzman, Peter Reynolds, and their daughter Layla. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
From left to right, second-place relay winners Carene Quigley, Daryl Sherban and Jessica Ruskin. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
From left to right, the winning relay team of runner Josh Smith, cyclist Mike Hull, and swimmer Kevin Smith, all members of the Masset RCMP. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
Agate Men Matthew Templeman, left, and Cal Westbrook, right, share the first-ever triathlon trophy. Both their names will be engraved in the 2018 spot. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)
A record 57 people signed up for this year’s Agate Man Triathlon / hlG̱a hlk̲’aats iihlangaa. (Andrew Hudson/Haida Gwaii Observer)

They were breaking records before the first swimmer splashed into Pure Lake.

This year’s Agate Man Triathlon / hlG̱a hlḵ’aats iihlangaa drew a total of 57 solo and team racers — the biggest turnout in Agate Man history.

The shiny new trophy presented by Haida Gwaii Rec will be engraved with another first: two names in the first-place spot.

Matthew Templeman wasn’t first to finish the 500-metre lake swim or to cycle the 20 km north to the Masset firehall. But once his shoes hit pavement for the 6 km run around the Delkatla Wildlife Sanctuary, Templeman was un-catchable.

Cal Westbrook came closest but was still a good 500 metres back when Templeman disappeared over the Masset bridge.

Unfortunately, that’s where things took a turn — Templeman got misdirected left onto Delkatla Road and looped around Harrison Avenue and Main Street, adding a whole kilometre to his run.

Westbrook stayed on course, heading straight from the bridge to the finish by the Masset firehall.

When he was later handed the trophy, Westbrook told everyone just what an amazing lead Templeman really had. In that spirit, race organizers agreed they should share the honours.

For his part, Templeman said he just really enjoys distance running.

“I want to do more, for the rest of my life,” he said, smiling.

Adrianna St. George was the first woman to finish the solo race, and the fourth fastest competitor overall.

Topping the Agate Man teams contest was a trio of St. George’s RCMP colleagues from the north end: swimmer Kevin Smith, cyclist Mike Hull, and runner Josh Smith.

Once again, Ben Davidson kept a foot in both the team and solo races by circling Pure Lake with one child on a stand-up paddleboard and running with another in a stroller.

Toni-Lynn Davidson also had a milestone finish. In 1998, she was 10 years old and the youngest solo racer at Agate Man — the only one cycling on a kids’ bike. This year, her own children were at the finish line, cheering her with homemade signs and photos of her first Agate Man race 20 years before.

Making the whole day run smoothly were organizers Haida Gwaii Rec and 17 volunteers who did everything from lifeguarding at Pure Lake and standing by as paramedics to to welcoming racers at the start and the Masset firehall finish.

For a list of all individual results, visit the Haida Gwaii Rec Facebook page.

Top Results

Men

1. Matthew Templeman (Masset) — 1:19:38

1. Cal Westbrook (Masset) — 1:19:38

2. Andrew Hudson (Masset) — 1:20:40

3. Ian Dalziel (Whistler) — 1:22:42

4. Tyler Peet (Queen Charlotte) — 1:24:50

Women

1. Adrianna St. George (Queen Charlotte) — 1:29:38

2. Hilary Thorpe (Queen Charlotte) — 1:30:27

3. Sarah Finnie (Masset) — 1:34:26

4. Melissa Paugh (Sandspit) — 1:36:01

Relay Teams

1. Kevin Smith, Mike Hull, Josh Smith — 1:25:47

2. Daryl Sherban, Carene Quigley, Daryl Sherban — 1:33:52

3. Peter Reynolds, Layla Reynolds, Laura Holmes-Saltzman — 1:34:02

4. Ruth Wheadon, Janet Gray, Laurie Husband — 1:37:15



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