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.
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
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
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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