Seymour, Metzler win Challenge Iceland

Jeanni Seymour of South Africa and Justin Metzler of the U.S. both posted come-from-behind runs to win Challenge Iceland.


Seymour and Heather Wurtele of Canada fought a back and forth duel from the start to the finish in which Seymour came back from a 4:47 deficit after the bike to prevail by 20 seconds.

Seymour led the swim with a 17:54 split that gave her a 4 seconds margin on Sarissa De Vries of Netherlands and 7 seconds on Wurtele. Wurtele took charge on the hilly bike course with a women’s-best 2:31:23 split that was 4:27 faster than Seymour and gave the Canadian a 4:47 lead starting the run.

Seymour started to chip away gradually at Wurtele’s lead, taking 24 seconds back in the first 3 kilometers of the run, then 1:36 in the next 11k. Gaining momentum as they neared the finish, Seymour chopped 3 minutes and 6 seconds away from Wurtele in the final 7 kilometers.

With her women’s-best 1:21:12 run split, Seymour outran Wurtele by 5:06 to finish in 4:18:02 with a 20 seconds margin of victory over Wurtele and 19:01 over 3rd-place De Vries.


Jesper Svensson led the swim in 16:10 which gave the Swede a 57 seconds lead on defending champion Kevin Collington of the U.S., 59 seconds on Justin Metzler of the U.S., 1:58 on Trevor Wurtele of Canada, 2:05 on Hannes Cool of Belgium, and 2:28 on Jordan Rapp of the U.S.

Last year's winner, Kevin Collington, in the middle of a great season,
was blown off the road on his bike and crashed into a ditch. Eventual winner Justin Metzler was just behind and saw him fly off the road. The wind in the morning was gusting to 30 and 40 miles per hour. Collington did not remember what had happened. He was picked up by a passing car, shaken, cold but otherwise not badly hurt.

Svensson held on to the lead with a 3rd-fastest 2:20:48 bike split which brought him T2 with a 33 seconds lead on Wurtele (race-best 2:18:10 bike split), 59 seconds on Metzler (2:21:30 bike split), and 1:30 on Rapp (2nd-best 2:18:39 bike split).

Svensson held on to his lead through 3.6km, but after 14 kilometers, Wurtele took to the front by 21 seconds on Metzler and 2 minutes on Svensson.

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 (1:18:48 run) and 3:04 over 3rd-place Svensson (1:20:02 run).

Rapp closed with a 1:21:17 run to finish 4th in 4:02:10.

Challenge Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland
July 23, 2017
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Jeanni Seymour (RSA) 4:18:02
2. Heather Wurtele (CAN) 4:18:22
3. Sarissa De Vries (NED) 4:37:03
4. Meredith Hill (AUS) 4:40:21
5. Santimaria Margie (ITA) 4:41:17


1. Justin Metzler (USA) 3:56:21
2.Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 3:58:45
3. Jesper Svensson (SWE) 3:59:25
4. Jordan Rapp (USA) 4:02:10
5. Hannes Cool (BEL) 4:07:38
DNF Kevin Collington (USA)

Photos: Arnold Björnsson