McKenzie, Kahlefeldt win 2018 Challenge Asia-Pacific Championships

With the race in near perfect conditions, the second Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championship held in Taitung Taiwan, was a huge success. It 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 of 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, however, he didn’t have it all his own way. Young Australian prodigy, Max Neumann, made him work for the win- “Young Max Neumann made us all work hard for it and it took me most of the race to make the catch. I am really excited to for Australia to see where Max can take his racing in there future”.
Rounding out the podium in the men’s race was the ever- consistent Mike Phillips of New Zealand.

The women’s race was a slightly different affair with Radka Kahlefeldt taking control of the race from the start and continuing to put more and more time into her competitors. Kahlelfedt 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 of 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 mum’s Mirinda Carfrae and Beth McKenzie”.
A highlight of the women’s race was the fact that the top three women are all mother’s to beautiful baby girls!

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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 such a wonderful experience for all. The athletes had such a great time, from the extraordinary views of East Coast, to sampling the local delicacies on offer and the amazing hospitality of the people and their beloved family and friends.

Embracing it’s 6th year of hosting events in Taitung, Challenge Taiwan had over 5,500 participants at it’s 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.

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