Metzler, Seymour take Titles in 2017 Challenge Iceland

      Situated in the stunning “Bay of Whales” in Iceland, the world‘s northernmost half distance triathlon race, CHALLENGE ICELAND, took place on Sunday 23 July 2017 in Meðalfell, Kjós.

      CHALLENGE ICELAND was also the Icelandic Half Distance Championship.

      The 1.9km swim course in the Meðalfellsvatn fresh water lake was shortened to 1500m due to heavy wind and a water temperature of 12.5C. The one loop 90km bike leg has a total elevation of 920m. It was also a very windy day with gales of up to 15­20 m/s. The country road with long hills of Kjós was the scene for the two lap 21.1 km run course on tarmac and gravel roads.

      Women

      Jeanni Seymour of South Africa was first out of the water with a 17:54 split that gave her a 4 seconds margin over Sarissa De Vries of Netherlands and 7 seconds on defending champion Heather Wurtele of Canada. Wurtele charged on the rolling and hilly bike course with a women’s-best 2:31:23 split that was 4:27 faster than Seymour.  Wurtele’s lead going out of T2 was 4:47.

      Jeanni Seymour ran down Heather Wurtele of Canada,  with a women’s best 1:21:12, gaining 5:06 over the defending champ  to prevail by 20 seconds.

      Men

      Jesper Svensson of Sweden led the swim ahead of defending champion Kevin Collington of the U.S., Justin Metzler of the U.S. and Trevor Wurtele of Canada.

      Kevin Collington withdrew after crashing his bike in the heavy wind. He was later picked­up by a tourist car with a few bruises and cold but OK.

      Svensson held on to the lead going into T2 with a 3rd-fastest 2:20:48 bike split.  Svensson’s lead was 33 seconds over Wurtele (race-best 2:18:10 bike split), and 59 seconds on Metzler (2:21:30 bike split).

      See also:  Asian Beach Games, Japan and Korea dominates

      At the finish, Metzler’s race-best 1:15:58 half marathon split brought him to the finish in 3:56:21 with a 2:24 margin of victory over Wurtele and 3:04 over 3rd­place Svensson.

      Hákon Hrafn Sigurðsson and Rannveig Guicharnaud were Icelandic Half Distance Champions.

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