McMaster athlete Andrew Yorke faced some brutal conditions, including oppressive heat and humidity, to run the race of his life at the 2012 World Cup Triathlon event in Huatulco, Mexico.
A five-year veteran of the McMaster cross country team, Yorke also trains with the C3 Kinetico Club in Caledon and has emerged as one of the top tri-athletes in Canada.
Competing in 95-degree heat, Yorke used an improved swim to move into one of the leading positions heading into the 40-km bike ride. As part of a four man breakaway group, he stayed with two Australians and one Frenchman who took turns setting the pace ahead of the chasing pack of riders. Getting off the bike, Yorke then started the 10-km run with a 50-second lead which he held for the first eight kilometers, before giving ground to his pursuers.
He managed to hang on for a lifetime best sixth-place finish in the event, joining a very small group of Canadians who have achieved a top-six World Cup result in the 23-year history of the International Triathlon Union (ITU).
Yorke’s coach and McMaster alumnus Barrie Shepley was at the event as a media analyst and was excited by Yorke’s result. “It was tough to do my job and not be totally thrilled with the effort that Andrew put out,” Shepley said. “I know how hard Andrew and his teammates have been training and (this) performance against the top athletes in the world and many Olympians, is an indication that Andrew’s coaches, supporters, teammates, parents and sponsors are all moving in the right direction”
The result even inspired Canadian Olympic medalist Simon Whitfield to fire off a congratulatory email to Yorke, after watching the race on the internet.
Yorke is currently getting some recovery time back in Canada and while excited by the Mexican result, admits to looking forward to being at home if only for a short break.
“I have been away from home for a while training and it will be nice to get back to Caledon and Hamilton and see my family, friends, teammates and coaches”
Next up for Yorke is a trip to London for a 5000m track race on May 23.