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Tom Lowe, Bella Bayliss take Challenge Henley
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Monday 9th September 2013


Tags  Bella Bayliss  |  Challenge Henley  |  Joel Jameson  |  Julia Grant  |  Stephen Bayliss  |  Tom Lowe  |  Yvette Grice


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It was a busy day at Challenge Henley yesterday - and we have lots more coverage to come, including video - later this week. While we get all of that processed and prepped, here is a brief report from the race.

There were double British victories as Tom Lowe secured his first iron-distance victory, a win he said he needed "for his head, as much as anything else" after a very disappointing 2013 season, while Bella Bayliss managed to finish on a fairytale by winning her 16th race over this distance in her retirement race.


The third installment of Challenge Henley took place this weekend, with over 1,400 athletes lining up to take part in either the half or full iron distance events.

Located on the north side of the scenic River Thames in the beautiful town of Henley-Upon-Thames, competitors were in with a treat as they were offered the exciting opportunity to swim along the world famous Royal Regatta course, and to cycle and run through some of the UK’s most beautiful countryside. 

Stephen Bayliss led the men out of the swim in 48:04, followed closely by Rhys Davey to take him into an early lead. However, there were some strong bike legs out on the cycle course – especially Tom Lowe, who managed to blast through a 4:42 split, leaving him right on the toes of Bayliss coming into T2. Out on the run, Lowe looked strong and confident, and was able to inch further away from Bayliss as the laps passed by. Victorious down the finishing chute, in 8:30:19 Lowe posted an impressive 2.48 marathon, the fastest run split of the day, giving him a lead of nearly seven minutes on second placed Bayliss. Joel Jameson, who also posted a sub nine-hour race time, finished in 8:49:23, rounding off the men’s podium. 

In the women’s race, all eyes were on the female pros – including the familiar faces of Bella Bayliss and Yvette Grice who have both raced since the first Challenge Henley event in 2011.

Grice led out of the water, posting a fast 57-minute swim, followed by Bayliss and Grant who came out just over three minutes later. Out on the bike course, it was Bayliss’ for the taking, and she was able to speed past Grice, posting a 5:18 bike split – the fastest lady of the day by nearly 23 minutes. With a lead of over 20 minutes coming into the run, it was soon clear that Bayliss had the win secured, and she finished in an impressive time of 9:41, finishing the last race of her racing career in style.

Grice finished in 10:05 and Julia Grant took third place, with a strong and consistent performance across all three disciplines, finishing in 10:15:59.

Alan Rose, Challenge Henley Race Director, said, “We were over the moon with the turnout at this year’s event, the atmosphere across the whole weekend has been electric, and we would like to send out a big thanks to all athletes that made the day just what it was.” He continued, “From professional triathletes, to Age Groupers, to those that want to raise a bit of money for their chosen cause – well done to all of you!”

Pos Men Women
1st Tom Lowe (GBR) – 8:30:19  Bella Bayliss (GBR) – 9:41:46
2nd Stephen Bayliss (GBR) – 8:36:55 Yvette Grice (GBR) – 10:05:18
3rd Joel Jameson (GBR) – 8:49:23 Julia Grant (NZL) – 10:15:59
4th Tuukka Miettinen (FIN) – 9:09:22  Lizzie Hutson (GBR) – 10:41:40
5th Rhys Davey (GBR) – 9:16:03 Emma Richards (GBR) – 11:01:21

To see a full range of news and results for Challenge Henley, visit www.challengehenley.com.


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