TMC Age Group Standard Distance Triathlete of the Year
Leamington, Ont.’s Kirstie Kniaziew earns our age-group triathlete of the year award for the second year in a row, as a now two-time winner ITU world champion in the 40 to 44 age-group. The former pro triathlete and mother of three raced in the Olympic distance race at the Cozumel Grand Final last September, where she overcame extremely hot conditions to finish in a remarkable 2:06:57, five minutes before the runner-up. On top of that impressive finish this year, Kniaziew also won her age-group and was 20th overall at the Canadian short course national championships hosted in Ottawa. Kniaziew is no stranger to the top of the podium at the world championships – she won the bronze medal at the junior world championship in 1992 in Muskoka. She was the silver medallist at the Pan Am Games in Argentina in 1995, too.
Steve Beasley earns our Duathlete of the Year award for his overall impressive performances across the run-bike-run discipline in 2016. Beasley, who competes in the 60– 64 age- group, won his age- group at this year’s ITU Duathlon World Championship in Aviles, Spain. He also strung together some impressive performances locally: he won his age- group at Multisport Canada’s Gravenhurst and Bracebridge races, where he also placed top 10 overall and landed on the overall podium at the Goderich duathlon as well.
Beasley, who has been an avid runner for years, grew up in southern Ontario and currently resides in Goderich, Ont. He played hockey as a young child and started using running as a way to cross train because he wasn’t fast enough to excel at running as a sport on its own. Soon, he developed a love for it and has competed in the Boston Marathon several times.
He added cycling to his training in 2013 when he suffered a running-related injury and was looking to cross-train with something less impactful. He signed up for a local duathlon, raced it and won and found himself hooked on the sport.
Next year, he’s looking ahead to trying to win his age-group at the ITU Duathlon World Championships. Steve Beasley races 2016 Aviles ITU Duathlon World Championships Diane Eller at the Montreal Esprit Duathlon
Diane Eller wasn’t the only member of her family to take gold in Aviles – her sister Sharryn Oleskiw also took the nod in the standard distance 70–74 category. Because she was the lone competitor in that category, Oleskiw wasn’t eligible for an Trican Excellence award, but we certainly want to recognize her for her great race. Eller is also a regular on the triathlon circuit and adds the duathlon world title to an impressive resumé that includes the ITU Triathlon World title in 2004 in the 60– 64 age group.