Montgomery's Race against the odds
BY DIANA ZLOMISLIC -- The Toronto sun
Six months after surgeons cleared a limb-threatening artery blockage
in her groin, Carol Montgomery cleared the two-minute time difference between
herself and national Olympic teammate Sharon Donnelly.
The result was an unexpected victory for Montgomery in the pro women's
section of yesterday's World Cup triathlon in Toronto.
"I've never won a big race in Canada," Montgomery, a resident of North
Vancouver, said. "I never thought I would win it until I passed (Donnelly)."
Montgomery, who was 10th out of the bike event, passed Donnelly in the last
15 seconds of the run, finishing the 10-kilometre race at Exhibition Place in
32:32. She also outran two-time world champion Michellie Jones of Australia.
American Jennifer Gutierrez, who led compatriot Shelia Taormina and
Donnelly through the swim and bike events, was third.
Donnelly, a Canadian army captain based in Kingston, and the two Americans
had a slight disadvantage at the beginning of the run when the trio was
misdirected and ran down the wrong side of the course.
"This happened at the world championships in Montreal and people should
know better," Donnelly's husband, Capt. Dave Rudnicki, said. "Thank God Sharon
had enough wits about her to continue the next loop."
Rudnicki though, said Montgomery's win was "fair and square."
"If Sharon is going to lose to someone, I'd rather it be Carol," he said.
"We all know how good she is."
Montgomery and Donnelly, along with Quebec's Isabelle Turcotte-Baird, who
finished 12th yesterday, will compete for Canada in September's 2000 Summer
Olympics in Sydney.
Victoria's Simon Whitfield, who finished fourth in yesterday's pro men's
event, will also represent Canada in the triathlon -- a first-time Olympic
"There is a definite advantage to racing at home," Montgomery, 34, said. "I
now realize how much of an advantage the Australians are going to have in
Montgomery, who made a last-minute decision to enter the World Cup, said
she didn't think she had been training hard enough to win the race.
"I had been spending a lot of time hanging out with my nieces and nephews,"
Time was also lost as a result of her surgery and ensuing rehab.
"But distractions are probably good for me," Montgomery said. "It means I
don't have to cut out beer and family."
Donnelly said the race was a good example of teamwork among the athletes
that will continue at the Olympics.
"All of us who are strong in the swim will stay together in Sydney,"
Donnelly said. "We've got to work together."