Cowichan Bay’s Desirae Ridenour wins gold in the women’s triathlon at the Canada Summer Games, the first medal of the games for Team BC. (Kevin Bogetti Smith/Team BC)

Desirae Ridenour wins B.C.’s first gold at Canada Summer Games

Triathlete continues a busy stretch with another win

Cowichan Bay’s Desirae Ridenour has won British Columbia’s first gold medal of the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

Ridenour finished first in the women’s triathlon on Monday at the games in Winnipeg as B.C. took the top two spots.

“I am just happy to come home with the gold and represent Team BC,” Ridenour said. “And hopefully, this will carry other teams to win more medals for us.”

Team BC athletes were in the lead pack for most of the race, and Ridenour took gold with a time of one hour, four minutes and 39.40 seconds, almost half a minute ahead of teammate Hannah Henry of Victoria. It was Ridenour’s third win in the last three weeks.

“I did feel pretty tired,” Ridenour admitted. “This is my third race in three weeks. And the heat really takes a toll on you. But you keep hydrating.”

Related: Canada Summer Games schedule/results

Another B.C. athlete, Michael Milic, finished second in the men’s triathlon, also on Monday.

Conditions were tough for all the competiors: the water temperature was 27 degrees, and the air temperature approached 40 with the humidex.

The triathletes will also compete in women’s and men’s relays on Thursday, and mixed relays on Friday.

Desirae Ridenour is not the only athlete from the Cowichan Valley on Team BC.

Also in Winnipeg for the Canada Summer Games, which started last Friday and continue until Aug. 13, are James Ridenour (rowing), Talon Hird (wrestling), Jessye Brockway (wheelchair athletics), Alex Amiri (road cycling), Tristan Mandur (golf) and Mikyla Carlow (Special Olympics swimming). Duncan Stingrays coach Leanne Sirup is also leading the B.C. swimming team.

kevin.rothbauer@cowichanvalleycitizen.com