IXTAPA, Mex.—Aiden Longcroft-Harris continued an impressive streak of podium performances by Canadian triathletes at all levels this spring by winning the bronze on Saturday at the CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup race in Ixtapa, Mexico.
The 20-year-old battled through difficult course conditions and extreme heat to clock a third-place time of 55:39 to win his first career CAMTRI medal.
“Winning the bronze feels amazing and feels like all of the hard work I have put in is beginning to pay off,” said Longcroft-Harris, who represented Canada at the ITU World Championships in 2017. “I look forward to seeing what the rest of the season holds.”
Carrying a strong belief and confidence in his preparation heading into the race, Longcroft-Harris tackled the choppy high surf and strong current in the 750-metre swim to near perfection, positioning himself at the front of the field for the hilly 20-kilometre bike ride.
“The only specific strategy I had going into the race was to use the swim to my advantage and be confident in my abilities on the bike and run,” added Longcroft-Harris. “This open-minded approach played in my favour as I led out of the water, got into the breakaway on the bike and was then able to capitalize on this gap off the bike onto the run.”
One of four Canucks in the field of 49 athletes, Longcroft-Harris secured the final spot of the podium matching strides with a large group of the Mexican athletes throughout the five-kilometre run that ended in a four-man sprint to the finish line to determine the final two medals.
“It was a very hard sprint finish, but I gave it everything and managed to pull off my first podium,” he said. “The conditions and course here are incredibly hard to deal with. The chop and current, combined with the hills on the bike that are short and punchy tires the legs for the run. The heat and humidity make hydration a challenge. It really is a race of attrition.”
The Canadian shared the podium with Mexico’s David Nunez, who won the gold with a time of 55:01, and Irving Perez in the silver-medal position at 55:37.
The podium performance continues an impressive medal-winning run for Canada’s triathletes at all levels this spring where a list of veterans and rookies have enjoyed breakthrough performances, making their first trips to the international podium.
Headlined by Joanna Brown winning her first World Triathlon Series podium, Tyler Mislawchuk winning his first career World Cup race; Alexis Lepage climbing onto the World Cup podium for the first time in his career; and Stefan Daniel dominating the World Para-triathlon Series in Yokohama, the next generation has also arrived at the development level. Brock Hoel and Martin Sobey won their first CAMTRI races earlier this month; and Amelie Kretz claimed her first major international medal in nearly four years at a CAMTRI event herself in Florida.
Complete Men’s Results: https://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2019_ixtapa_camtri_sprint_triathlon_american_cup/336862
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