Yvonne Timewell — a fitting name for a tremendous triathlete.
The 44-year-old Kamloops anesthetic assistant was the fastest woman at the 30th Peach Classic Triathlon, held in Penticton on Sunday, July 15.
What might be most astounding about her victory is Timewell was beginning to wonder if she could ever live up to her name again.
A former professional-level triathlete, Timewell decided to “take it easy” after having a son.
She also had surgery last year to repair a damaged ACL.
“The surgeon said, ‘You know, the older you get, in terms of recovery, that’s what you have against you,’ which sent me the wrong way and made me want to be stronger,” Timewell said.
The Peach City champion had help on her road to recovery — really, really good help.
Timewell has trained occasionally with mountain biker Catharine Pendrel, who is favoured to win a medal at the Summer Olympic Games in London.
Timewell is also a member of the Interior Grasslands Cycling Club.
Despite all the rehab effort, Timewell still had doubts about getting back to the top of the podium.
A second-place finish in the women’s division at the Eastlink Desert Half Iron on July 8 in Osoyoos got her thinking again, but she was still shocked to win in Penticton.
“It was surreal,” she said.
“I did not expect it.”
There was no shortage of drama near the finish line.
Sarah Clark of Vernon finished just 23 seconds behind Timewell, who won with a time of 2:26:17.
“The last five kilometres I was running scared because the girl was catching me and I had to get down to business and push the pace,” she said.
Timewell swam 1,500 metres in 27:13, biked 40 kilometres in 1:13:26 and ran 10 kilometres in 44:04.
She won $300 for being the fastest female, $100 for being the top master and $50 for having the fastest women’s bike ride.
The race took participants onto the Kettle Valley Railway trail overlooking Penticton and Okanagan Lake.
The day was not free of controversy.
About 30 minutes before the race started, officials from Triathlon B.C. ruled the water of Okanagan Lake was too warm for wetsuits, causing some participants to drop out of the race.
Timewell said she benefitted from the decision.
“Swimming is usually the toughest for me but, being without a wetsuit, I came out of the water in fourth or fifth.”
Her Royal Inland Hospital co-workers greeted her with a sign that read, “You’re so Peachy!” (more…)