The first ever Challenge event in the UK and what a day for 1000 strong field, a full race report and pictures will follow tomorrow – but here are the headlines so far – with many athletes still out on the course. The men’s race was always going to be a tight battle and so it proved with less than five minutes separating the top three places after eight and a half hours of racing.
Stephen Bayliss exited the water first on 00:48.01, with Aussie Aaron Farlow right on his heels and Richard Howarth a further 2 seconds back. The bike was another Bayliss and Farlow battle, with just three minutes separating the top two races as the left T2, followed by Nick Ward Munez and Petr Vrabousek.
Out on the four lap run course it was all to play for with Vraboisek and Munez pushing hard and cutting into the leaders advantage lap by lap. It was Czech Petr Vrabousek 08:37:58 who eventually took the honours with a super quick marathon time of 02:53:47, ahead of Nick Ward Munez 08:39:33, followed home by Ironman UK winner Aaron Farlow 08:40:10 and Stephen Bayliss eventually back in fourth with a time of 08:44:31
The women’s race was just as close, Clare Kane led the women out of the chilly Thames on 00:54:41, followed by Yvette Grice and Louise Collins. The bike was another epic struggle with Collins just leaving T2 in front of Grice but it was Grice who took the inaurgral women’s title with an over time of 09:47:35, followed home by Kiwi Charisa Wernick who stormed through the marathon with a run time of 03:12:54 to record an overall time of 09:48:25, followed by Lou Collins in third on 09:54:58
Full results on www.challengehenley.com