Symonds determined to qualify for Penticton ITU World Championship

Jeff Symonds’ heart was tugging in two directions. Compete in Ironman Mont Tremblant on Aug. 21 or Challenge Penticton Aug. 28?

Jeff Symonds’ heart was tugging in two directions.

Compete in Ironman Mont Tremblant on Aug. 21 or Challenge Penticton Aug. 28?

Both presented a chance to compete in world championships, one in Kona, the other on home soil.

Symonds’ eighth place finish at Ironman Calgary on July 24 ended up making his decision easier. His desire to return to the Ironman World Championships in Kona will have to wait. Qualifying for Kona required the Penticton native to reach the podium in Calgary, then win in Quebec.

After winning the Peach Classic Triathlon on July 17, Symonds told Black Press following his win that his ups and downs included breaking his arm in early May while training for Ironman Texas where he slipped and fell awkwardly.

Symonds said his performance in Calgary was a good sign that things are on the right track.

He also learned what he needs to do on the bike, but after having the best run in Calgary, he knows he still has that going for him.

When it comes to the long course distance of a three-kilometre swim, 120-km bike and 30-km run for the Challenge Penticton World Championship qualifier, Symonds isn’t sure what to think of it. Yet, that’s what he said makes it exciting for the athletes.

Symonds added it’s a matter of coming in and executing the race he wants.

“If I can come in and have a good race, and have the race I’m capable of, then I’m pretty confident that title is going to stay in Penticton,” he said.

Symonds said hosting the International Triathlon Union world championships is a good opportunity to catch some excitement heading in towards next year. Symonds thinks it’s great that this year’s Challenge Penticton features the duathlon, aquathlon and cross triathlon. Having those events allows more people to get involved as they may not be able to train for the long distance for personal reasons.

“Something like the aquathalon, it’s a lot more manageable,” said Symonds.

“I have seen first-hand working with Mike Brown (race director) and the team behind Challenge right now. They are doing some great things. They have been working pretty hard to make this an awesome event. I think it’s just going to keep getting better and better. It will be awesome to see.”