Held in near perfect conditions, the second Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championship held in Taitung Taiwan, was a huge success. The event attracted close to 1,000 athletes from all over the globe. The crown went to Luke McKenzie in the professional men’s race, while Radka Kahlefeldt from the Czech Republic stole the show in the professional women’s race leading from the gun and never looking back.
Luke McKenzie went into the race with a rib injury after a bike crash earlier in the week and was uncertain he could even start, let alone win. “If you had asked me on Friday I would have said impossible. During the week I hurt my ribs and I honestly thought I had no chance of even making the start line.”
McKenzie ended up putting together one of his finest performances ever over this distance, but he didn’t have it all his own way. Young Australian prodigy, Max Neumann, made him work for the win. “The youngstar Max Neumann made us all work hard and it took me most of the race to catch him. I am really excited about Australia to see where Max can take his racing there in the future”. The ever-consistent Mike Phillips of New Zealand rounded up the podium in the men’s professional race.
The women’s race was a slightly different affair with Radka Kahlefeldt taking control of the race from the start and continuing to gain more and more time on her competitors. Kahlefeldt has had an amazing comeback since the birth of her baby daughter, Ruby. Her finish time of 4:09:01 was just over 10 minutes faster than her nearest rival, multiple IM World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae from Australia. Kahlefeldt was over the moon to take the win. ‘I am really happy to win Challenge Asia Pacific in Taitung. Such a beautiful race and well done to fellow ‘super mums’ Mirinda Carfrae and Beth McKenzie”.
The fact that the top three women are all mothers to beautiful baby girls was something quite spectacular.
1. Luke McKenzie (AUS) 3:48:03 S 25:30 T1 3:44 B 2:02:50 T2 1:43 R 1:14:16 – $8,000
2. Max Neumann (AUS) 3:49:25 S 24:10 T1 3:22 B 2:03:15 T2 1:26 R 1:17:10 – $5,000
3. Mike Phillips (NZL) 3:50:49 S 25:28 T1 3:43 B 2:03:02 T2 1:25 R 1:17:10 – $3,600
4. Timothy O’Donnell (USA) 3:55:36 24:14 T1 3:26 B 2:04:31 T2 1:33 R 1:21:50 – $2,400
5. Jaroslav Kovacic ( ) 3:57:47 S 25:25 T1 3:54 B 2:02:55 T2 1:25 R 1:24:06 – $1,500
1. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:09:01S 27:25 T1 3:54 B 2:14:37 T2 1:42 R 1:21:21 – $8,000
2. Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) 4:19:15 S 29:48 T1 4:09 B 2:16:59 T2 1:43 R 1:26:34 – $5,000
3. Beth McKenzie (USA) 4:22:22 S 31:55 T1 3:53 B 2:24:03 T2 1:50 R 1:20:38 – $3,600
4. Naomi Washizu (TWN) 4:34:47 S 30:06 T1 5:04 B 2:29:47 T2 1:31 R 1:28:17 *F 35-39
5. Marion Tuin (NED) 4:55:07 S 32:28 T1 4:32 B 2:32:50 T2 1:59 R 1:43:17 – $2,400.
This was the first time the Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championship was held in Taiwan and it was a wonderful experience for all. The athletes had such a great time, from the extraordinary views of the East Coast, to sampling the local delicacies on offer and enjoying the amazing hospitality of the people and their beloved family and friends.
Embracing its 6th year of hosting events in Taitung, Challenge Taiwan had over 5,500 participants at its events this year. Challenge Taiwan’s goal is to introduce Taiwan to more and more participants from all over the world, and help every triathlete who visits, enjoy the festival, conquer the great challenge, and most of all, fall in love with triathlon.