Dry land suits tri champion

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

BAD GUYS without vehicles best look for a body of water if they're being pursued by Ottawa police officer Tina Pippy.

Even then, she's likely to take them down when they get back on land.

Pippy was the top women's finisher in the Sprint Triathlon competition at the second annual Ottawa Riverkeeper Triathlon and Duathlon yesterday, finishing the Westboro Beach course in a time of one hour, 8:04 minutes.

She had to come from way back in the pack to win, too.

"It's the bike and the run, not the swim," the 38-year-old Pippy said with a chuckle when asked about the key to her victory. "I can't swim."

Not very fast, she means.

It took Pippy 11:54 to complete the 500-metre swim, leaving her 39th in a field of 153 competitors. Upon climbing out of the cold Ottawa River, she did the 20-km bike ride in 35:05 (11th best time overall) and the 5-km run in 21:06, which was the fifth best time posted.

GRENIER LEADS PACK

Only five men finished the Sprint Tri ahead of her, including Gatineau's Mathieu Grenier (1:01:36), Ottawa's Matthieu Vierula (1:02:58) and Aylmer's George Tolkachev (1:03:04).

The second female finisher was Ottawa's Ilona Csepregi, with a time of 1:09:37. The water polo player had a 1:34 lead on Pippy after the swim.

"I learned to swim when I was pregnant ... I had to stop running," said Pippy, mother of 18-month-old Paris. "It's always a little nerve-wracking out there when you're not a confident swimmer. I look for the kayak, in case I need to pull out.

"It's totally mind over matter. I think, if I can just get through the swim, I'm home free."

Grenier, a 24-year-old paramedic, noted that the waters were a little rough because of the early winds. Nonetheless, he had the second best swim time of 8:17, four seconds behind Vierula.

"I was worried after the bike, I was third and I knew I needed to push it in the run," said Grenier. "I did. The run went very well."

Meanwhile, Alain Charlebois of Gatineau was the Olympic Triathlon winner, completing the 1,500-metre swim, 40-km bike and 10-km run in 2:03:58.

He edged Gatineau's Stephen Partridge (2:04:17) and Ottawa's Olivier Mouyau (2:08:58).

Chelsea's Cynthia Wilson was the top woman -- and fifth finisher overall -- in 2:14:07.

Winning the Sprint Triathlon team competition was Team BCI (Peter Keane, Stuart Taylor and Steve Craig-Pettem) in 1:02:06.

Mike Caldwell won the Kayak Solo in 1:30:50, while Clara Cohen was the top women's finisher in 1:57:59.

Gatineau's Francis Hupe was first in the Try-A-Triathlon competition, and Claudia Sydor won the "Quick Chicks" winner of the 2.5-km run.

Claiming the Duathlon title by a comfortable margin was Gatineau's Jean-Francois Fillion with a time of 2:01:07. Second was Ottawa's Randy Fontaine at 2:02:48.

"It was well planned," said Fillion, a 46-year-old economist with the Department of Finance. "I got a solid bike ride and I gave it everything I had at the end."

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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