Charles, Sanders repeat at Challenge the Championship

Lucy Charles and Lionel Sanders repeated as €30,000 winners at Challenge the Championship in Samorin, Slovakia.


Charles opened with a 26:11 swim split that gave her a 2:08 lead on Radka Vodickova, then unleashed a women’s 2nd-best 2:12:58 bike split that gave her a 2:20 lead on fellow Brit Kimberley Morrison (women’s-best 2:12:35 bike split) and 7:05 on super runner Anne Haug of Germany (2:16:15 bike split).

Charles finished with a 1:21:33 half marathon that surrendered 5:29 to Haug’s sizzling-fast 1:15:56 run. But with the lead she had banked on the swim and the bike legs, Charles finished in 4:06:10 with a 1:48 margin on Haug and 5:30 on 3rd-place Radka Kahlefeldt of the Czech Republic.

“I knew it was going to be so much tougher to win this year,” Charles told Challenge media. “And to do it I am so happy.”

Indeed, Charles’ winning time this year was 7:49 better than her victorious effort in 2017.


Sanders began with a 29:05 swim that was out of the top 10, 1:51 behind swim leader Richard Varga of Slovakia. Early leaders on the bike leg were Maurice Clavel of Germany, Max Neumann of Germany, and Pieter Heemeryck of Belgium. By 50 kilometers, Florian Angert took the lead by 30 seconds over a pack of seven including Kienle, Sanders, Clavel, and Heemeryck.

While Angert led at T2 after a 3rd-best 1:59:08 bike split, Kienle’s race-best 1:58:09 split and Sanders’s second best 1:58:15 split left the duo poised to pounce starting the run.

After 13km of the run, Kienle took a 23 seconds lead on Sanders and over a minute on Angert.

At the 17 kilometer mark, Sanders overtook Kienle, who fought back and retook the lead a kilometer later.

On his way to a race-best 1:10:46 half marathon, Sanders gradually pulled away to finish in 3:43:28 with a 1:04 margin of victory on Kienle, who ran 1:12:56. Angert finished with a 1:17:53 run to take 3rd place, 3:54 behind the winner.

After their battle, Sanders paid tribute to Kienle. “'It took everything in my being to catch Sebastian,” he told Challenge media. “It's what I live for.”

Challenge the Championship
Samorin, Slovakia
June 3, 2018
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Lucy Anne Charles (GBR) 4:06:10 S 26:11 T1 2:49 B 2:12:58 T2 2:34 R 1:21:33
2. Anne Haug (GER) 4:07:58 S 29:44 T1 3:12 B 2:16:15 T2 2:40 R 1:15:56
3. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:11:40 S 28:19 T1 2:44 B 2:15:52 T2 2:21 R 1:22:19
4. Emma Pallant (GBR) 4:12:50
5. Kaisa Sali (FIN) 4:13:59
6. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:15:13
7. Kimberley Morrison (GBR) 4:19:19
8. Katrien Verstuyft (BEL) 4:25:53
9. Sarah Lewis (GBR) 4:27:36
10. Ellie Salthouse (AUS) 4:28:40


1. Lionel Sanders (CAN) 3:43:28 S 29:05 T1 2:59 B 1:58:15 T2 2:18 R 1:10:46
2. Sebastian Kienle (GER) 3:44:23 S 27:34 T1 2:45 B 1:59:07 T2 2:07 R 1:12:59
3. Florian Angert (GER) 3:47:22 S 25:22 T1 2:43 B 1:59:08 T2 2:09 R 1:17:53
4. Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) 3:48:50
5. Maurice Clavel (GER) 3:49:49
6. Antony Costes (3:50:45
7. Michael Raelert (GER) 3:51:17
8. Adam Bowden (GBR) 3:51:28
9. Andreas Dreitz (GER) 3:54:09
10. Ivan Kalashnikov (RUS) 3:54:41