Greater Trail athlete primed for Nationals

Trail triathlete Jackson Konkin will compete at the Canadian Triathlon Championship in Ottawa this Sunday.

Trail triathlete Jackson Konkin finished third at the Interior Savings Across the Lake swim in Okanagan Lake in Kelowna last weekend

Trail triathlete Jackson Konkin finished third at the Interior Savings Across the Lake swim in Okanagan Lake in Kelowna last weekend

Trail triathlete Jackson Konkin is primed and ready for the Canadian Triathlon championship after swimming to a third-place finish at the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim race in Kelowna on Saturday.

With over 1,200 swimmers competing in the 2.1-kilometre open-water swim, Konkin captured the bronze medal finishing just two seconds back of Alex Woinoski and 17 seconds behind first-place winner Tim James Woinoski. The strong result comes just one week after the J. L. Crowe student claimed top spot in the Cortofondo at the Axel Merckx Road Race in Penticton.

Next up, the 16-year-old is looking forward to putting the swim, bike, and run together when he races in the Canadian Triathlon Championship in Ottawa on Sunday. Konkin captured bronze at the Canadians last year in U15 Youth Elite, but will move up a category in this year’s race, with more competition awaiting.

“If I can finish in top 10 I’d be very happy with that,” said Konkin. “I moved up to Junior Elite, which is age 16-19 so now I’m at the bottom of the pile. I’ve been doing well, top-10 finishes like Vancouver, my chain fell off on the bike and I still managed to hold fourth place there.”

After just missing the podium in Vancouver, Konkin raced to a second-place finish in the Vernon Triathlon, and then claimed top spot in the Christina Lake Triathlon earlier this month.

Following the triathlon national championship in Ottawa, Konkin will join Team BC and other teams from across the country to train. He’ll then travel to Montreal for two weeks where he’ll also compete in two triathlons, including the Montreal International Triathlon as part of the ITU World Cup, and compete in the Jr. Elite category, swimming 750 km., biking 20 km., and running 5 km..

“Last year it was considered a super-sprint distance, this year it’s going to be regular sprint distance … so a little longer than last year,” said Konkin, who is more than familiar with the distance having won the Christina Lake triathlon in that same category for three years running.

Konkin trains with his dad, Mike, who also competes in the Coeur d’Alene Ironman Triathlon. Jackson’s results speak for themselves when it comes to the father-son team, but he is looking forward to the opportunity to join Team BC.

“I’ve trained a little bit with them, out in Victoria before, but not a lot. I know a couple of the guys, but it’s definitely new to me, but hopefully be making some new friends in Ottawa.”

Once the events in eastern Canada wrap up, Konkin will return home to compete at the Nelson’s Cyswog’n’fun Triathlon July 31, the Apple Triathlon in Kelowna Aug. 21, and Edmonton for the ITU World Triathlon championship Sept. 4, where Konkin finished second in 2015 in Youth Elite.