Mel Mcquaid (Victoria, B.C.) and Nathan Killam (Vancouver, B.C.) earn Victories in All Canadian Contest during the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR21 Pro Challenge

August 31, 2020

- Over 6,500 athletes from 97 nations registered to compete in a three-division format for IRONMAN VR21 - More than 117,000 people from around the globe have now joined IRONMAN Virtual Club platform - IRONMAN VR community now looks ahead to five-week-long IRONMAN VR Kona Series that takes athletes on a five-week training journey towards a virtual full-distance IRONMAN triathlon during the 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2020) – It was an all-Canadian affair over the weekend, as Mel McQuaid of Victoria, British Columbia and Nathan Killam of Vancouver, British Columbia took titles in the professional women’s and men’s races, respectively during the 21st edition of the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN®VR™ Pro Challenge. This weekend of racing saw all eight Canadian athletes going head-to-head-to-head-to-head in a 500m swim at locations in their home communities, before taking on a 40km ride on a portion of the IRONMAN Canada-Penticton bike course, utilizing Official Virtual Cycling partner ROUVY’s augmented reality. The athletes finished off the virtual race with a 3km run recorded at multiple training locations showcasing the three disciplines of the virtual triathlon on the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR21 Pro Challenge broadcast.

 On Friday, the professional men kicked off the competition with Nathan Killam (CAN), a full-time firefighter and third-place finisher at the 2019 IRONMAN Mont Tremblant, taking the overall win and clocking an overall time of 1:09:07. Runner-up at the 2018 IRONMAN Canada, Jeff Symonds (CAN) finished in second place with a combined time of 1:10:56. Making his professional debut, Francis Martin (CAN) finished behind Symonds in third place completing the race with an overalltime of 1:13:13. Multi-time top-10 IRONMAN 70.3 finisher Stephen Kilshaw (CAN) rounded out the group in fourth with an overall finishing time of 1:15:03.

The full broadcast of the men’s HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR21 Pro Challenge can be viewed, HERE.

Professional men’s results:


1. Nathan Killam

CAN 00:07:08 00:53:03 00:08:56 1:09:07
2. Jeff Symonds






3. Francis Martin

CAN 00:06:49 00:56:15 00:10:09


4. Stephen Kilshaw

CAN 00:07:21 00:58:19 00:09:23


On Saturday, it was the professional women’s turn to battle for Canadian supremacy. Topping the group was veteran triathlete Mel McQuaid (CAN), a multi-time IRONMAN 70.3 champion and three-time XTERRA World Champion, clocking an overall time of 1:15:41. Coming in just behind McQuaid was Jen Annett (CAN), a Penticton native and runner-up at the 2019 IRONMAN Canada, with a combined time of 1:19:14. Following in third position was Heather Low, (CAN), a recent convert to the pro ranks who earned eighth at the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Waco, finishing with a combined time of 1:22:06.Robyn Hardage (CAN), who balances working full-time for the Department of Justice as a professional triathlete, rounded out the group completing the virtual triathlon with an overall time of 1:22:11.

The full broadcast of the women’s HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN VR21 Pro Challenge can be viewed HERE.

Professional women’s results:



1. Mel McQuaid






2. Jen Annett






3. Heather Low






4. Robyn Hardage

CAN 00:07:24 01:03:17 00:11:30


In total, over 6,500 athletes from more than 97 nations and 47 states set out to participate in IRONMAN VR21. The 5150 Olympic distance simulation requires athletes to complete a 3km Run, 40km Ride, and 10km Run between Friday, Aug. 28 at 6 a.m. ET (10 p.m. GMT) and race close, Sunday, Aug. 30 at 7:59 p.m. ET (11:59 p.m. GMT). Competitors who race in the IRONMAN VR121 Classic division can do the three race segments anywhere, indoors or outdoors, in any order and are not required to do the segments consecutively.

The over 750 athletes who registered for the HOKA ONE ONE IRONMAN Virtual Racing Championship Series are bound by a different set of rules over a four-week long regulated age-group competition designed to reward top-performing athletes in a structured and competitive virtual environment. An athlete’s overall standing is based upon their top three performances in aggregate over a four-week period. Athletes competing will have the opportunity to earn race slots to the IRONMAN®70.3® World Championship with a total of 75 qualifying slots allocated across age groups for top performers.

IRONMAN VR21 leaderboard updates can be found by visiting the IRONMANVR Facebook Page.

The IRONMAN Virtual Racing community now looks ahead to the recently announced, IRONMAN VR Kona Series. The new five-week-long series will take athletes on a training journey that culminates in a virtual full-distance IRONMAN race, to be held as part of a week-long 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration. For the first time, athletes will have the ability to virtually complete 140.6-miles in either seven-day, three-day or competitive 17-hour formats. The IRONMAN VR Kona Series kicks off September 4 and runs through October 11. Additional details on The 2020 IRONMAN VR World Championship Celebration and IRONMAN Kona Series can be found on the IRONMAN VC platform at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com.

Bringing the IRONMAN community together virtually, the IRONMAN®Virtual Club™ continues to grow and now has more than 117,000 members on the platform with thousands completing IRONMAN Virtual Club Challenges since its recent launch.

Full details and specifics regarding the IRONMAN Virtual Club are available on www.ironmanvirtualclub.com. For questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series, athletes can email ironmanvr@ironman.com. For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®70.3® Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN® Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series®, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, ITU World Triathlon Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf® presented by Westpac, Ultra-Trail® World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN® brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance (www.advance.com), a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.