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Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria: Harrett and Lagownik take maiden professional wins

Iestyn Harrett (GBR) and Marta Lagownik (POL) impressed in Gran Canaria to secure their first professional wins against tough fields in Spain.

Staff Reporter
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Great Britain’s Iestyn Harrett utilized a lightning quick run leg to reel in Denmark’s Kristian Hogenhaug and take a first professional win on Saturday at Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria.

Also taking her first professional win, Poland’s Marta Lagownik like Harrett used her impressive foot speed to her advantage, as she pulled away from her competitors over the second half of the run to take victory.

Marking the start of the European middle distance season in style, Harrett and Lagownik will hope their maiden victories will propel them onwards to further top results over the course of 2024.

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Harrett takes down Hogenhaug in great battle

Ten men exited the water together in Gran Canaria, led by Italian Fabian Alejandro, with French duo Cenzino Lebot and Casimir Moine following close behind and the rest of the front pack on their heels.

Hogenhaug, coming out of the water in 11th, was +0:20 down from the front, but still had contact with the lead pack. Further behind, #1 seeded pro Dieter Comhair had almost a minute to make up to the front.

On an incredibly demanding bike course, with 1,400m of elevation, Hogenhaug demonstrated his class, as he reeled in the leaders and then built a solid lead heading into the run, as the Dane split 2:03:33 for the ride, over two minutes quicker than anyone else.

However, undeterred by the deficit, Harrett quickly set about reducing Hogenhaug’s +1:37 lead on the run, and the former short course athlete soon started to make headway.

Drawing level with the Dane halfway through the third lap, Harrett soon opened up a sizeable gap, and despite a mini resurgence by Hogenhaug in the closing kilometres, held on for his first pro win.

In second, Hogenhaug finished his first race since last summer and secured his best result since winning Challenge Salou in April 2022. Spaniard Mikel Ramos Ugarte finished in third.

Lagownik takes dominant first win

Great Britain’s Chloe Sparrow was first out of the water in the women’s race, as she exited with +0:48 over second place Margie Santimaria of Italy, with Lagownik a further +0:12 behind Santimaria.

On to the bike, the Pole quickly made her move to the front and pushed the pace, knowing that the likes of German Svenja Thoes would be working hard in the chase pack to reduce their deceit after the swim.

By the time the leaders entered T2, Sparrow, Lagownik, Santimaria, Guerard and Rebecca Petra Robisch had seen their gap to Thoes reduced to just over a minute, but as the German lost time in transition, her chance to reconnect with the front disappeared.

Up ahead, Lagownik raced into an early lead and never looked back, as whilst the rest of the front pack faltered, she pushed on, running the fastest split of the day with a 1:15:56 run leg.

Marta Lagownik (POL) takes the win at Challenge Gran Canaria.
[Photo Credit – Challenge Family]

Taking the tape, Lagownik was a comfortable winner, beating Robisch in second by over four minutes, with third place finisher Leonie Konczalla a further minute back in third.

Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria – Saturday April 20 2024
1900m / 90km / 21.1km

Pro Men

  • 1. Iestyn Harrett (GBR) – 3:44:54
  • 2. Kristian Hogenhaug (DEN) – 3:45:29
  • 3. Mikel Ramos Ugarte (ESP) – 3:46:26
  • 4. Casimir Moine (FRA) – 3:48:01
  • 5. Luke Pollard (GBR) – 3:48:18

Pro Women

  • 1. Marta Lagownik (POL) – 4:15:36
  • 2. Rebecca Petra Robisch (GER) – 4:19:21
  • 3. Leonie Konczalla (GER) – 4:20:26
  • 4. Justine Guerard (POL) – 4:22:18
  • 5. Margie Santimaria (ITA) – 4:23:48
Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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