If you ask me which race I have enjoyed racing more during all these years I will probably say this one, the battle of the sexes of the first edition of Challenge Lisboa.
Finishing 2nd overall, only losing to Melanie Santos, U23 World and European bronze medalist was just a great bonus. The 3rd place went to an English woman. This meant that the men didn’t manage to catch us, girl power.
It was great taking part of a race with such a stature. Challenge is one of the biggest brands in the world organizing triathlon races.
The weather, organization and the atmosphere was just fantastic. I love that fact about triathlon. World class athletes mixing with age groupers and the once that are in it for fun. We are one big happy family.
I had no idea how did race would go. It was my first Olympic distance of the season, not so much training in the luggage and a different approach.
The swim went well. Melanie took off fast and I was chasing behind. We isolated ourselves from the rest as soon as the gun went off.
I was out of from T1 about 2 minutes after her and I did all I could to catch her on the bike. My effort wasn’t enough and some lack of fitness made my mission impossible.
I also knew that Melanie is a much better runner than I am so I would need to gain quite some time on the 45km.
I came into T2 isolated in 2nd place and enjoyed the last 11km on the run, even stopped for some selfies.
We were received at the finish line with a huge media attention and we were all smiles.
I had so much fun and I simply love everything about this sport, it makes me happy!
Unfortunately my dear friend from Sweden, Mikaela didn’t finish her half Ironman due to a heat stroke. But she did a great swim/bike and was battling the best woman in the world…well done Mikaela
Big thanks for the challenge family for inviting me, loved the experience