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Canadian triathlete and Argonaut Jeff Symonds was the first to cross the finish line at the Ironman Asia-Pacific triathlon this weekend, while proudly carrying the maple leaf flag. A proven runner, Symonds has earned one of the most important titles in his career with a blistering marathon. 

Held in Melbourne, Australia, the Asia-Pacific triathlon greeted more than 2,500 competitors. In a new twist, this year’s winner earns an automatic entry into Kona’s IRONMAN World Championship, to be held in October 2015.

Cycling comeback and marathon dominance

Symonds began his day at the office with a swim of 49:40, leaving the water with a 4-minute gap behind the leader. Once on his bike, he had to scramble to stay in the race. 

“I guess it was just to settle into my pace, basically, explains Symonds. I had some wattage goals, but at some point I went way over them. Then I was in damage recovery when I caught up, and I had to sprint back to catch on a few times. But once I was in that group I thought, ‘just hang in there’, and I knew I could have a good run.” 

After an excellent bike split, with a time of 4:27:30, the Canuck subsequently imposed a dominating pace to finish the run with a time of 2:44:14, thus earning first position with a total time of 8:04:29.