Pieter Heemeryck of Belgium and Lucy Charles of Great Britain won the pro titles at the Challenge Prague half.
Heemeryck combined the 4th-best swim, 2nd-fastest bike split and race-best run to finish in 3:47:45 with a 1:30 margin of victory over Andreas Dreitz of Germany and 6:51 over 3rd-place Patrick Dirksmeier of Germany.
Heemeryck began the 2017 campaign with a 2nd at Challenge Gran Canaria, then 4th at the Ironman 70.3 European Championship and 6th at Challenge The Championship before breaking into the winner’s circle at Prague.
Charles added another jewel to her sparkling 2017 race résumé with by-far women’s-best swim and bike legs and a women's 2nd-best run to finish in 4:11:21 with an 8:35 margin of victory over Yvonne Van Vlerken of Netherlands and 12:03 over 3rd-place Ewa Bugdol of Poland.
Charles was 2nd at Challenge Gran Canaria, then won Challenge Lisboa, Ironman Lanzarote and Challenge The Championship, and earned 2nd at The Ironman European Championship in Frankfurt with an impressive 8:51:50 time before her victory at Prague.
Dylan McNeice of New Zealand led the swim in 20:37 which gave him a 6 seconds lead on Christian Otto of Germany, 8 seconds on Jesper Svensson of Sweden, 9 seconds on Heemeryck, 25 seconds on Dirksmeier, 36 seconds on Per Bittner of Germany and 1:47 on Dreitz.
The men’s contest quickly evolved into a two-man race as Heemeryck posted a 2nd-best 2:04:02 bike split which gave him a 49 seconds lead on Dreitz and his race-best 2:03:13 bike split. Next in line was Dirksmeier, just over 6 minutes back and Svensson, about 6:30 arrears.
Heemeryck closed the door on Dreitz with a race-best 1:17:57 half marathon that brought him to the finish in 3:47:45 with a 1:30 margin of victory over Dreitz (1:18:19 run) and 6:51 over Dirksmeier (1:18:38 run).
Charles, a former Olympic Trials contending swimmer before switching to triathlon, took the swim in 21:29 which gave her a 1:53 lead on Mikaela Persson of Sweden, 1:55 on Ewa Bugdol of Poland, 2:53 on Bianca Steurer of Austria, 2:59 on Carolin Lehrieder of Germany, 3:01 on Yvonne Van Vlerken of Netherlands, 3:51 on Ewa Komander of Poland, 4:39 on Laura Siddall of Great Britain and 4:43 on Annah Watkinson of South Africa.
Charles then took control with a 2:16:55 bike split that was 4:52 and 4:53 better then the next-best women’s splits by Van Vlerken and Siddall and 5:22 better than Komander.
Simona Krivankova of the Czech Republic made up a lot of ground she surrendered with a 27:30 swim and 2:24:31 bike split with a women's-best 1:26:24 run that was 45 seconds faster than Charles. But Charles was never threatened as she cruised home with a 2nd-best 1:27:09 half marathon to finish in 4:11:21 with an 8:35 margin of victory over Van Vlerken (1:28:04 run split), 12:03 over Bugdol (1:29:34 run) and 12:47 over 4th place Krivankova.
Prague, Czech Republic
July 29, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) 3:47:45
2. Andreas Dreitz (GER) 3:49:15
3. Patrick Dirksmeier (GER) 3:54:36
4. Per Bittner (GER) 3:58:07
5. Dylan McNeice (NZL) 3:59:48
6. Jesper Svensson (SWE) 4:02:27
7. Pavel Petrasek (CZE) 4:03:45
8. Christian Otto (GER) 4:05:07
9. Premysl Svarc (CZE) 4:07:54
10. Pete Dyson (GBR) 4:09:28
1. Lucy Charles (GBR) 4:11:21
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 4:19:56
3. Ewa Bugdol (POL) 4:23:24
4. Simona Krivankova (CZE) 4:24:08
5. Ewa Komander (POL) 4:24:56
6. Laura Siddall (GBR) 4:26:43
7. Erika Csomor (HUN) 4:26:45
8. Annah Watkinson (RSA) 4:29:44
9. Bianca Steurer (AUT) 4:33:39
10. Carolin Lehrieder (GER) 4:37:09