High winds force Challenge Salou race officials to cancel the swim and substitute a 5-kilometer run, thus Lisa Norden of Sweden and Colin Chartier of the U.S. prevailed in a middle-distance duathlon held on the Mediterranean coast an hour south of Barcelona.
With the start delayed by 30 minutes, the male pros started with a 5-kilometer run leg, with the top 20 all entering T1 within a minute of each other.
With increasing winds, Kyle Smith of New Zealand charged into the lead followed by Chartier and Frederic Funk of Germany 30 seconds down. By the second of three laps, Funk took the lead and entered T1 with a 2:48 lead. At the start of the run, Chartier charged hard and overtook Funk, taking the lead in the second of four laps.
After second-best 1:12:34 run, Chartier finished in 3:28:52 with a 2:29 margin over middle distance rookie Jorik Van Egdom of Netherlands. Robbie Deckard of the U.S. took third, advancing from 9th place in the opening run leg to the final spot on the podium, 4:56 behind Chartier and 2:27 behind Van Egdom.
It was an emotional day for Chartier, who said he was racing for his ill grandfather “
"My grandpa’s dying right now back in the States and so this one is dedicated to him,” Chartier told Challenge media. “I thought about my grandpa all the time. No matter what, I was never going to give up and I fought for him, just as he’s fighting for his life. No-one was going to catch me, not today!"
Sara Perez Sala of Spain led the women into T1, then Els Visser of the Netherlands seized the lead on the bike. By the end of the first of three laps, Norden took charge, steadily building her lead to six minutes by T2 on the strength of a by-far women’s-best 2:08:13 bike split. Norden then padded her margin with a women’s-fastest 1:24:47 half marathon, while Visser, Perez Sala and Lucy Hall battled for the podium slots. Norden finished in 3:51:09 with a 7:52 margin over Visser and 8:33 over third-place Lucy Hall of Great Britain.
Norden told Challenge media her first duathlon since 2008 went surprising well: "I felt really, really good on the first run and I quickly found some great bike legs. I wanted a bit of a gap before I started running but I was surprised by just how big that gap was. The wind was strong but with a disc wheel you can actually use it to your advantage. Today there was no swim, even though there was meant to be but it was still a great day! The crowd was just amazing and they really lifted me, The last time I did a duathlon was 2008 and they are hard!!"
Salou, Spain – Costa Daurada
October 3, 2021
R 5k / B 90k / R 21.1k
1. Lisa Norden (SWE) S 15:41 B 2:08:13 R 1:24:47 TOT 3:51:09
2. Els VIsser (NED) S 15:42 B 2:14:17 R 1:26:08 TOT 3:59:01
3. Lucy Hall (GBR) S 15:42 B 2:14:21 R 1:26:52 TOT 3:59:42
4. Emma Bilham (SUI) S 16:14 B 2:16:23 R 1:24:48 TOT 4:00:22
5. Alexandra Tondeur (BEL) S 15:43 B 2:17:21 R 1:28:07 TOT 4:03:59
1. Collin Chartier (USA) S 13:57 B 1:59:47 R 1:12:34 TOT 3:28:52 S
2. Jorik Van Egdom (NED) S 13:57 B 2:02:34 R 1:12:26 TOT 3:31:21
3. Robbie Deckard (USA) S 14:14 B 2:02:27 R 1:15:09 TOT 3:33:48
4. Dominik Sowieja (GER) S 14:03 B 2:02:19 R 1:15:19 TOT 3:34:16
5. Braden Currie (NZL) S 14:01 B 2:02:32 R 1:15:58 TOT 3:34:47