June 22nd, 2024

Wood hits first ever podium in triathlon career

By Lethbridge Herald on November 17, 2022.

Solen Wood displays his bronze medal after the triathlon in Chile on Sunday.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Local triathlete Solen Wood hit the podium for the first time in his career on Sunday in Chile.

The now Victoria, B.C. based  21-year-old won the bronze medal at the 2022 Americas Triathlon Cup Viña del Mar.

His time was 00:53:56 between the bike, run and swimming.

“It’s part of a three race (circuit) down here in South America and came into it feeling pretty good,” said Wood.

“It was  going to be not a crazy competitive race, but one that I felt like  I could do pretty well in. And to start,  like we did our course familiarization and everything, and it’s crazy cold water. I think the race day water was 14.3 degrees Celsius, so that was an interesting dynamic that it was just really cold in the water.”

Wood felt pretty good on race morning.

“Just kind of  an average— nothing special, nothing bad — just kind of right where I wanted to be,” he said.

“The swim is kind of  where I’ve struggled the last few years and still a little bit down on where I need to be. But I came out of the water I think in 10th place, about 35-40 seconds  down off the leaders , which is reasonable. It’s a little further than I wanted to be but pleased that  I was within striking distance and then  pack dynamic wasn’t amazing. No one was really working too well to try and  chase down the leaders … And so I just kind of did what I could to get the pack rolling, but by the end I just  sat in and waited for the run.”

Wood felt in the run he didn’t have an amazing second transition.

“The guy who (I’ve) actually known for quite a while whose a few years older than me, Russell Pennock, came out flying,” he said.

“He’s an incredible runner,. (He)ran for the University of Calgary, and so I just hopped on behind him and let him set the pace and we ran through almost all the field — where then he finished second and I finished third. Then one of my teammates and good friends finished fourth. So it was a good day for Canada there with a two, three, four.”

While exhausted from the race, he thought it was special moment when him and Pennock crossed the finish line.

“I was pretty spent,” he said.

“Yeah, (I) had to dig pretty deep to try and stay with Russell and we were just shy of catching the leader, who yeah  started the run with a 40-second lead. But then it was pretty cool, like as I was running in there, once we got into the podium spots in two and three, that was pretty special moment just because I had not been at that point at the end of a race.”

He has also competed in Uruguay at the Americas Triathlon Championships Montevideo in October where placed 14th and 38th, in Austria where he came in 53rd and in Portugal where he came in 18th place. He started the 2022 season at the Dominican Republic race in May , but collapsed about 500 metres from the finish line due to heat stroke and dehydration.

Wood ranks 241st in the world.

Wood will finish his race season in Manta, Ecuador on Nov. 26-27.

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