Weekend Box Feb 23 2014

The Weekend Box offers reports races from four continents and two races from the Southern Hemisphere and two from the Northern Hemisphere. These widespread events include a cross triathlon, an XTERRA, a half distance Challenge race and a slightly-under-half-Ironman event.

Hauschildt tops women, 13 minutes behind 1st man Burton at Challenge Philippines

Melissa Hauschildt continues to bolster her claim as the top middle distance woman triathlete in the world – and to further narrow the gap between men and women – with her impressive win on the ultra-tough Challenge Philippines course Saturday.

When the race was done, the two-time Ironman 70.3 women’s World Champion, 2013 ITU Long Distance World Champion and Abu Dhabi International champion finished the rugged course in 4:39:26 with a 7:34 margin of victory over fellow Australian and women’s runner-up Annabel Luxford. Perhaps more impressive, Hauschildt finished 6th-overall including the men -- just 12:36 behind men’s winner Matt Burton of Australia and 2:45 behind 5th place male Mitchell Anderson of Australia.

“It was one of the toughest I have ever raced, but great!” said Hauschildt.

In the women’s race, Laura Bennett of the U.S. led the swim in 25:06, two seconds ahead of Luxford, 7 seconds ahead of Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic and 2:20 ahead of the former internationally ranked 3000 meter steeplechaser. Hauschildt then took control with a women’s race-best 2:48:07 bike split over the challenging Seven Hills of Bataan Province, a time that was 1:33 better than Emma Pooley of Great Britain (well back after a 32:40 swim), 4:07 better than Luxford and 11:51 better than Vodickova. Swim leader Bennett fell out of contention with a trouble-plagued 3:17:55 bike split.

Hauschildt then cruised to a 1:18:40 half marathon which was 4:38 better than runner-up Luxford, 2:30 better than 3rd place overall Pooley and 6 minutes better than 4th place Vodickova and 5th place Bennett.

In the men’s race, eventual winner emerged from the swim 4:41 behind swim leaders Michael Murphy of Australia and former Aussie Greg Bennett of the U.S. Burton made up most his initial deficit with a race-best 2:34:28 bike split that was 3:31 better than Murphy and overtook Bennett whose 2:40:50 split gave back 6:22 to Burton. Like Hauschildt, Burton put the men’s race away with a dominating 1:12:17 run that brought him to the line in 4:26:53 with a 1:48 margin of victory over runner-up Murphy, whose 3rd-best 1:15:53 surrendered 3:36 to the champion. Fredrik Croneborg of Sweden filled out the men’s podium, 1:01 behind Murphy.

Challenge Philippines
Bataan Province, Philippines
February 22, 2014
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.



1. Matt Burton (AUS) 4:26:53
2. Michael Murphy (AUS) 4:28:41
3. Fredrik Croneborg (SWE) 4:29:42
4. Greg Bennett (USA) 4:32:34
5. Mitchell Anderson (AUS) 4:36:41


1. Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) 4:39:26
2. Annabel Luxford (AUS) 4:47:04
3. Emma Pooley (GBR) 4:47:43
4. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:52:30
5. Laura Bennett (USA) 5:17:55

Pete Jacobs and Liz Blatchford win the Husky Long Course Triathlon in Australia

Pete Jacobs ran away from Tim Reed and Liz Blatchford did the same to Lisa Marangon to win the men’s and women’s elite titles at the Husky Long Course Triathlon in Huskisson, Australia Saturday.

Jacobs, the 2012 Ironman World Champion, trailed swim leader Sam Appleton’s race-best 24:18 swim by 1 second, gave Reed another 10 seconds at the first transition, then took back 4 seconds with a race-best 2:00:57 split for the 80k bike leg. Jacobs then unleashed his thoroughbred run form with a race-best 1:07:01 split for the slightly-shorter-than-half-Ironman 20k run that was 1:22 faster than Reed. Jacobs, back on form after an off day at Kona last October, finished in 3:34:58 with a 1:26 margin of victory over fellow Aussie Reed and 4:28 over 3rd-place finisher Appleton.

Liz Blatchford, still in good shape after a smashing 3rd-place debut at the Ironman World Championship last fall, was worried about an inflamed ankle before the race. But things started well as she emerged from the 2k swim first in 26:47, 1 second ahead of fellow Aussie Lisa Marangon and 1:43 in front of fellow Aussie Carrie Lester. On the bike leg, Blatchford and Marangon worked together to post nearly identical 2:15:26 and 2:15:29 bike legs which put another 2 minutes advantage on Lester, reducing the race to a 2-woman duel.

Blatchford quickly erased doubts about her ankle’s health as she jetted away from Marangon on her way to a race-fastest 1:22:05 20k run that gave her a 4:07:19 finish and a 1:32 margin of victory over Marangon and a 5:09 advantage on 3rd place Carrie Lester.

“The good news is that my ankle felt all right,” Blatchford said after the race. “It was strapped really tightly, so it didn’t bother me too much. I felt it a little when I ran out of the water, but I just tried not to focus on it too much.”

The win was Blatchford’s second in a row at Huskisson.

Husky Long Course Triathlon
Huskisson, Australia
February 22, 2014
S 2k / B 80k / R 20k



1. Pete Jacobs (AUS) 3:34:58
2. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:36:24
3. Sam Appleton (AUS) 3:39:26
4. David Mainwaring (AUS) 3:41:54
5. Paul Ambrose (AUS) 3:42:50


1. Liz Blatchford (GBR) 4:07:19
2. Lisa Marangon (AUS) 4:08:51
3. Carrie Lester (AUS) 4:12:28
4. Ange Castle (AUS) 4:15:32
5. Matilda Reynolds (AUS) 4:16:13

Thijs tops Del Corral and Nogueira edges Van Vlerken at Desafio Octavo Isla Cross

Jim Thijs of Belgium out dueled Victor Del Corral by 22 seconds and Maria Saleta Castro Nogueira prevailed by 4 seconds in a white-hot duel with Yvonne Van Vlerken to win the elite titles at the Desafio Octava Isla Cross Triathlon in Lanzarote.

Men’s winner Jim Thijs of Belgium finished 4th at the 2000 ITU Junior Duathlon Championship and has 13 top 10 finishes at XTERRA events. Men’s runner-up Victor Del Corral finished 5th at the 2012 XTERRA World Championship and gained fame for his closing 2:37:29 marathon while winning Ironman Florida last November.

Maria Saleta Castro Nogueira is a 26 year old veteran pro who finished 3rd at the 2010 ITU Long Distance Triathlon Series event in Ibiza Spain and who finished 18th at the 2011 Cross World Championship. Van Vlerken is coming off a 4th place finish at the Ironman World Championship.

Desafio Octava Isla Cross Triathlon
Lanzarote, Spain
February 22, 2014
S 1k / MTB 20k / TR 6k



1. Jim Thijs (BEL) 1:18:16
2. Victor Del Corral (ESP) 1:18:38
3. Stephen Bayliss (GBR) 1:18:45
4. Peru Alfaro San Ildefonso (ESP) 1:20:56
5. Per Bittner (GER) 1:22:29


1. Maria Saleta Castro Nogueira (ESP) 1:33:30
2. Yvonne Van Vlerken (NED) 1:34:34
3. Lucia Mendez (ESP) 1:44:43
4. Safira Guerra (ESP) 1:54:46
5. Faina Romero (ESP) 1:55:54

Dan Hugo and Flora Duffy win XTERRA South Africa

Home country hero Dan Hugo won his 4th XTERRA South Africa title and Flora Duffy of Bermuda won her first Sunday in Grabouw.

While 4-time XTERRA World champion Conrad Stoltz struggled with cramps in the swim and finished 3rd, South Africa countryman Dan Hugo had no such troubles as he swept to his 4th victory at this race Sunday in a time of 2:29:25.

“My plan was to go out aggressively on the swim, said Hugo. “On the mountain bike I passed Rory Downie of Scotland shortly after he got the King of the Mountain prize. From there I never saw anybody again. I was knackered after the bike, but my running has gotten better and I believed I could do it.”

Flora Duffy, who bravely held on to 3rd while fighting off collapse at the end of the XTERRA World Championship last October, had no such troubles Sunday in South Africa. Duffy opened up a big lead with a race-best 20:51 swim that put 3 minutes on Carla van Huysteen and 4:16 on Carina Wasle. Duffy added to her lead with a race-best 1:38:55 bike split and a race-best 54:29 run as she finished in 2:57:07 with a comfortable 8:42 margin of victory over runner-up Wasle and 8:56 over 3rd place finisher van Huysteen.

“This course is tough,” said Duffy. “I struggled a bit, flatting in the beginning of the mountain bike discipline, but I managed to hold it together. I've been working really hard on my run and was confident that I could pull it together. When I got on the little beach section I gave a sigh of relief.”

Two-time women’s overall amateur champion Hannah Rae Finchamp of Altadena, California won the women’s amateur title and placed 5th overall woman in a time of 3:12:34.

XTERRA South Africa
Grabouw, Western Cape, South Africa
February 23, 2014
S 1.5k / MTB 27k / TR 11k



1. Dan Hugo (RSA) 2:29:25
2. Stuart Marais (RSA) time not available
3. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) time not available


1. Flora Duffy (BER) 2:57:07
2. Carina Wasle (AUT) 3:05:49
3. Carla van Huysteen (RSA) 3:06:03
4. Susan Sloane (RSA) 3:09:08
5. Hannah Rae Finchamp (USA) 3:12:34 *F20-24