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Robins and Fleming Champions in Vietnam

Posted on: Sunday 18th September 2016

The inaugural race of the IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam 2016 powered by CRTC took place for the first time ever on September 11, 2016 in the beautiful coastal city of Nha Trang. The event, which is part of the Challenge Family triathlon series, consists a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km. It was something that the citizens of the city have never seen and definitely got their attention.

The race began in the Nha Trang 2/4 Square just when the sun was rising up. During the previous days, the weather had been hot and terribly sunny, however, on race day the sky was overcast and signaling an upcoming storm. Luckily, the storm never came and the clouds kept the day quite cool; definitely the perfect weather for a triathlon in Asia.

The gun start was at 6:05 am for the Male Pro Athletes, which was then quickly followed by the Female Pro Athletes a minute later. The age groupers and the relay swimmers were released just as the Pros finished their first loop of 950m. Coming out of the water, the athletes sprinted to the transition area to take their bikes and headed for the second leg of the race; the bike course. This part was tough according to our athletes. The course was made up of flat straightaways, inclines and descents, and through it all athletes were treated with impressive views of the landscape with the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Definitely, a challenging bike course but totally worth it as it has been said to be the most breathtaking part of the course. The run course took place on the same route as that of the bike course, taking athletes to run 10,5km out and head back to the 2/4 Square to cross the finish line. There were some very emotional moments when crossing the finish gate as is tradition in Challenge Family races, athletes are encouraged to cross it with their friend and family.

In the Male Pro athletes’ field, Mitch Robins lived up to the expectations giving an impressive win with a time of 4:04:44, followed by the Aussie Levi Maxwell (4:05:20) and Carlos Javier Quinchara (04:11:18). On the other side, Jessica Fleming took the women’s title with a time of 4:42:44; close behind her were Julia Grant (04:42:44) and Michelle Duffield (04:51:44).

One of the highlights of the race was the production itself, which made all the athletes feel the essence of Vietnam. For this year, the main theme was the Vietnamese Dong Son drum, which tells the story of the ancient Vietnamese people. These were in many places around the event site but also in the medal itself. Also, during the Carbo Load dinner, athletes had the chance to taste traditional food from Nha Trang while enjoying Vietnamese dance performances. The finish gate had definitely a great touch of country; the two columns of the finisher gate were composed of traditional conical rice hats and standing by ready to give medals were two women wearing an Ao Dai, the traditional Vietnamese dress. Once the athletes had crossed the line, they were asked to bang a gong. Definitely, the race was a great way to get to know the country and its culture.

After the participants had left the racecourse and Challenge Vietnam had been done and dusted, the athletes were treated to an after race party at Skylight Nha Trang, a rooftop bar with 360º views of the city. Athletes said that it was the most epic after race party they’ve been to so far. Lets just say, what happens in Nha Trang, stays in Nha Trang.

After the great success of the IPPGroup Challenge Vietnam 2016 powered by CRTC, it has thus become a must race triathlon in South East Asia and it is already looking forward to welcome the athletes again next year for a BIGGER and BETTER event.

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