Rick Gammie of Campbell River runs the final marathon while winning the men's ironman 50-54 age division in the Penticton Challenge triathlon.

Triathlete tops in ironman age group

Campbell River man leads four-member delegation from Strathcona Triathlon Club in Penticton.

Four members of the Strathcona Triathlon club braved regional forest fires to participate in the annual Penticton Challenge Triathlon.

Rick Gammie won the men’s 50-54 age division in the full iron distance triathlon (3.8k swim, 180k bike and 42.2k run), completing the course in 12 hours, 19 minutes and 47 seconds to place 32nd overall.

Gammie battled fierce headwinds on the first section of the bike course before heading east to climb the infamous Richter pass.  Gammie said “it was worth the pain” after accepting his first place award at the ceremonies at the Okanagan lakeside venue.

Tanya Loiselle finished the half iron distance (2k swim, 90k bike, 21.1k run) in 8:43:12 on a similarly tough course, placing 29th in the women’s 40-44 division.

The local club was rounded out by Steve and Linda Nagle, who formed a team for the half iron distance along with their daughter, Stevi.

Linda Nagle led off with a 41-minute swim; Steve followed with a 3:37 effort on the bike, and Stevi rounded out the performance with a 1:57:35 half-marathon as Team Nagle collectively shaved 15 minutes off their time from last year.

The Penticton Challenge drew 1,300 athletes. Forest fires in the Okanagan threatened the race but did not cause problems on race day.

For more information on the Penticton Challenge or the Strathcona triathlon club go to  www.challenge-penticton.com  or www.strathconatriclub.ca.