Melissa Hauschildt and Matt Burton win inaugural Challenge Philippines

Melissa Hauschildt - Chellenge Philippines (photo: image.net)

Melissa Hauschildt once again proves the best over the half-iron distance (Photo: Nicky Loh/Getty Images)

The first Challenge Philippines featured a field of 700 age group athletes from 38 countries and one of the largest and fastest pro fields ever assembled in Asia – all vying for a slice of the $50,000 USD prize purse, one of the richest in half-iron triathlon.

Set in beautiful Bataan Province, the men’s race began in pristine waters with Greg Bennett (USA) and Michael Murphy (AUS) clocking 23:40 swim splits, leaving Matt Burton (AUS) to play catch-up with a five-minute deficit going onto the bike leg.

Once on two wheels however, Burton proved himself the strongest cyclist in the field, posting the fastest split of the day in 2:34:28 and entering T2 just a minute behind Murphy. He confirmed his victory with the day’s fastest run split of 1:12:17 to cross the line in 4:26:53 with Murphy taking second and Frederick Croneborg (SWE) completing the men’s podium.

In the women’s race, Laura Bennett (USA) was first out the water in 25:06, over two minutes ahead of Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) but true to form, Hauschildt hammered the bike course and ran away to a five-minute lead on Annabel Luxford (AUS). Hauschildt took first comfortably in 4:39:26 with Luxford second and Olympic cyclist Emma Pooley (GBR) third, just 40 seconds behind Luxford.

“It was an incredible race, well organised, just amazing, I loved it! Maybe one of the toughest I have ever raced, but great!” said Hauschildt.

For full results from Challenge Philippines, visit www.challengephilippines.com.ph

Top Five Men

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

Top Five Women

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