Heather Wurtele

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page -

How’s this for a 2016 race sea­son? She was the Iron­man 70.3 North Amer­i­can pro cham­pion. She won 70.3 races in Mon­ter­rey, Mex­ico; Ocean­side, Calif. and Vic­to­ria. She took the win at Chal­lenge Ice­land. It wasn’t just the fact that she won those races that im­pressed – she also set course records in St. Ge­orge, Utah; Mon­ter­rey and Ocean­side. Wurtele also fin­ished sec­ond at Iron­man 70.3 Mont-trem­blant. Pos­si­bly one of the big­gest high­lights came in Aus­tralia in Septem­ber. For the third year in a row she was on the podium at the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship – her third place in Mooloolaba put her one spot in front of the pro­hib­i­tive favourite go­ing into that race, Daniela Ryf.

The only thing that seems to have eluded Heather Wurtele in her im­pres­sive ca­reer that in­cludes six Iron­man ti­tles and 18 half or 70.3 ti­tles is a top fin­ish in Kona. While her 12th-place per­for­mance this year would thrill most oth­ers, one gets the feel­ing that at some point Heather Wurtele is go­ing to crack the Kona code. Over the last few years she has put ev­ery­thing in place to ex­cel on the world’s big­gest stage. At one point the feel­ing was that Wurtele wasn’t able to back up her strong bike leg with a quick enough run. Noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth now – she’s now amongst the best run­ners in the sport, es­pe­cially over the half dis­tance.

Kona might have to wait for Wurtele, the same way that it did for cham­pi­ons like Mark Allen and Chris Mccor­mack.

Kona aside, there’s lots of rea­son to cel­e­brate Wurtele’s im­pres­sive year.

A pop­u­lar fig­ure on the triathlon scene, Wurtele and her hus­band Trevor split their time be­tween Kelowna, B.C.; St. Ge­orge and San Diego, Calif., liv­ing in a small RV. The two met at the Univer­sity of Vic­to­ria and both got into the sport in 2004. Their steady rise through the pro ranks re­ally took off in 2009 when they com­mit­ted to the sport full time.

That com­mit­ment has earned both Wurte­les lots of re­spect in the triathlon world. And Heather’s im­pres­sive 2016 earns her our nod as Triath­lete of the Year, too.– KM

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