It was a gruelling three-day competition as top endurance athletes from around the world competed in the Ultra520 triathlon on the weekend.
The final day of the triathlon, an 84.4-kilometre run beginning in Princeton, ended in Memorial Park in Summerland on Monday afternoon.
Spanish triathlete Juan Arroyo, 32, was the first finisher on Monday with a run time of 7:17:32, but the overall victory went to Kate Bevilaqua, 38, an Australian triathlete.
Bevilaqua was the second finisher in the run with a time of 7:32:06, but her overall time of 24:16:27 put her in first place overall.
This is the first time a woman has been the overall winner in an Ultraman competition.
Bevilaqua has won the women’s division in Ironman events in Australia, Kentucky and Korea.
She has also had numerous finishes at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii.
“We are very excited to have an athlete with Kate’s credentials doing Ultra520,” said race director Steve Brown prior to the event.
“I know she has been training hard for the Ultra while keeping her other training up, so she is going to treat us all to a great show of athletic ability.”
In the first day of the competition, Bevilaqua finished in first place.
The first day had competitors in a 10-kilometre swim and a 149.8-kilometre bike ride.
The second day was a 275.8-kilometre bicycle race.
Bevilaqua was the fourth finisher on the second day, and in second place overall in the first two days of competition.
She said the last 100 kilometres of the bicycle component were the most difficult part of the entire event.
While she was disappointed with her finish on Sunday, her crew members helped her prepare for the double marathon on Sunday.
“My goal was to have a good run,” she said, “and the run was beautiful.”
She was impressed with the three-day endurance event.
“It definitely exceeded all of my expectations,” she said. “I had an amazing time.”
Speaking through a translator, Arroyo, the overall winner among the male competitors, said the swim portion was the most difficult, but the run on Monday was the highlight of the event.
He said he was happy with his results.
A total of 25 competitors, all of them previous Ironman finishers, were entered in the Ultra520K triathlon, although five did not complete the three-day event.
Athletes from Canada, the United States, Australia, Spain, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Japan, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Guatemala competed.
There were six women and 19 men in this year’s event.
To qualify, athletes must complete at least one iron distance race in 14.5 hours or less during the past 18 months.