The weather conditions leading into the 2016 edition of Challenge Melbourne had athletes expecting something similar to the previous year, but athletes were thankful the overnight thunderstorms dispersed and made way for race day.
Todd Skipworth took victory in the men’s race with a slick swim leg and took control of the race during the bike, despite challenging winds, to hold on and cross the line almost four minutes ahead of Per Bittner. A pack containing several of the race favourites broke up during the final run with the classy running legs of Leon Griffin grasping a podium spot.
Ellie Salthouse battled near the front throughout the women’s race, executing a strong run to win Challenge Melbourne and place twelfth overall. Natalie Van Coevorden struggled to stay with Salthouse on the run, but raced well for second, four minutes in arrears, while Carrie Lester raced solidly all day for third place, a further four minutes back.
Some stellar age-group performances lit up the men’s field, with Matt Clark (30-34) the fastest, posting a swift 4:09:52. Damien Angus (40-44) followed with a 4:10:23, while David Meade (45-49) went 4:10:42, and Fraser Walsh (18-24) came home in 4:10:43. Tracy Morrison was the fastest female age-grouper, posting a 4:50:41 which included the fastest female age-grouper run split.
Winner of the M45-49 age-group, David Meade
Fastest age-group swim legs went to Fraser Walsh (18-24, 26:02) and Talia Goddard (25-29, 27:00).
Fastest age-group bike legs went to Kyle Lierich (18-24, 2:12:58) and Aine O’Connor (30-34, 2:35:15).
Fastest age-group run legs went to Matt Clark (30-34, 1:21:44) and Tracy Morrison (30-34, 1:32:24).
Ellie Salthouse - 4:11:03
Natalie Van Coevorden - 4:15:14
Carrie Lester - 4:19:50
Todd Skipworth - 3:51:13
Per Bittner - 3:56:05
Leon Griffin - 3:58:41
18-24 - Freya Berenyi, 5:31:51
25-29 - Sarah Hughes, 5:00:49
30-34 - Tracy Morrison, 4:50:41
35-39 - Phoebe Fear, 4:56:08
40-44 - Anne Henry, 5:01:34
45-49 - Davina Calhaem, 4:58:32
50-54 - Kelly Watts, 5:19:41
55-59 - Mary Mitchell, 5:11:12
60-64 - Maureen Grant, 6:32:53
18-24 - Fraser Walsh, 4:10:43
25-29 - Nathan Shearer, 4:23:06
30-34 - Matt Clark, 4:09:52
35-39 - Mark Huber, 4:24:29
40-44 - Damien Angus, 4:10:23
45-49 - David Meade, 4:10:42
55-59 - Paul Rowse, 4:46:16
60-64 - Chris Mennie, 5:16:10
65-69 - Warren Kearns, 6:43:29
70+ - Andrew Morrison, 6:20:01
View the full race results here