Three triathlons in three weeks would be enough to satisfy most athletes, but Trail triathlete Jackson Konkin is just hitting his stride.
Konkin finished in the top 20 in two national races in Montreal and Verdun, Que. on Aug. 7 and 14 respectively before topping the podium to win the BC Championship in the Junior draft-legal class at the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon on Saturday.
“It went really well,” said Konkin. “Coming from back east with all that training and racing, I was ready to go.”
Konkin was the top 16-year-old triathlete at the Canadian Junior Elite Triathlon Championship in Ottawa last month, finishing 11th overall in the 16-19 year old category. He then stayed in Quebec to train with Team BC and race in the Montreal International Triathlon where he came in 17th on Aug. 7 and the Verdun Triathlon where he placed 18th the following week. Konkin would likely have placed even better in the Verdun race had it not changed to a duathlon at the last minute, thereby robbing him of his best leg, the swim, due to water quality issues.
Nevertheless, the opportunity to train and compete with the best in Canada was a great experience.
“This is my first year in the Junior Elite division, so for sure I was happy with the results,” said Konkin. “It’s a lot better than training by yourself, because you have a lot of people training at your speed and faster to push you. So it’s a lot more fun than training solo.”
The J. L. Crowe student returned to BC where he raced to first in Kelowna’s Apple Triathlon. Konkin led from the start bursting out of the 400-metre open water swim in five-minutes 30 seconds. He followed that up with the fourth best time on the 10-km bike, 14:44, but maintained the lead, and then sprinted the final three kilometres in the race’s fastest time of 12:10 to finish with the golden Apple in a total time of 34:34.0.
Canmore’s Neo Gleason finished second in 35:29, while Joshua Ogilvie of Kamloops raced to third place in 35:50.
And rather than sit back and rest, the 16-year-old Konkin says he’s going to pump up his program to prepare for one of the biggest races of the year – the ITU World Triathlon Championship in Edmonton in September.
“I think I’m going to be a little more focused and disciplined with my training now not because I’ve been training with Team BC, but I’ve been opened up to the high competition and I know what it takes now to get to the top. I’m just going to dial it down and just do it.”