Adam Bowden, Sarah Lewis on top at Challenge Roma

Sarah Lewis wins Challenge Roma 2018

Adam Bowden wins on on his middle (ish) distance debut

Sarah Lewis builds on Dubai performance with fine race in Rome

Three hours 22 minutes for a ‘70.3’ distance, finishing with a 1:05:57 half marathon? Well, something certainly went wrong with the tape measures today at Challenge Roma – but whatever the organisational issues, it didn’t stop Adam Bowden and Sarah Lewis taking big wins against some deep Pro fields at the Porto Touristico Di Roma.

The Men: Bowden’s Middle Distance Debut Win

A long-time member of the British Triathlon Elite (ITU) Performance Squad, Adam Bowden secured his best World Triathlon Series result last year when finishing fourth at the ITU World Triathlon Leeds. I had seen a tweet recently suggesting that Adam was going to seen racing over the longer distances soon, but hadn’t picked up that he would be racing today in Italy. Well, that was a pretty good start…

In 14th place starting the run, 2:17 back on the leader Johann Ackermann (GER), Bowden’s running legs were certainly working over the run course of we are not quite sure how many kilometres. Distance aside, he was significantly faster than anyone else! From a close race at T2 he was more than two minutes clear at the finish, having also been one of the fastest through the swim too.

Will Clarke was also racing as part of his preparations for IRONMAN Texas in two weeks time. Eighth was not up to his expectations position wise, but it was a significant improvement on his result in Dubai. Texas is the primary target, and he still feels on track for that one:

The Women: Sarah Lewis and Alice Hector top the podium

After a horror bike smash last year, Sarah Lewis managed to get back to racing (and winning) in 2017. Solid through the year, her big breakthrough came at IRONMAN 70.3 in Dubai, where she was second to Germany’s Anne Haug. That was no fluke. Also making a big statement today, was Alice Hector.

Lewis and Denmark’s Camilla Pedersen – another athlete with ‘previous’ when it comes to recovering from major bike crash injuries – lead the race into T2, just over a minute clear of Hector, Margie Santamaria (ITA) and another Brit, Hannah Drewett (GBR). Lucy Gossage was a further three and half minutes back.

Lewis was in a different league on the run and would win by a huge margin of four and a half minutes.

Alice Hector, winner of the ISRAMAN 113 for the third time earlier this year, produced one of her best career results to take second against some quality athletes.

Challenge Roma – Sunday 15th April 2018
1.9km / 90km / 21.1km **

(** Advertised – reports suggest bike closer to 76km. Run times also suggest short course)

MEN

1st – Adam Bowden (GBR) – 3:22:03
2nd – Pablo Gonzales (ESP) – 3:24:11
3rd – Inaki Balzello (ESP) – 3:24:38

8th – Will Clarke (GBR) – 3:26:21
17th – Sam Wade (GBR) – 3:33:40
21st – George Goodwin (GBR) – 3:39:15
22nd – Chris Standing (GBR) – 3:39:48

WOMEN

1st – Sarah Lewis (GBR) – 3:46:48
2nd – Alice Hector (GBR) – 3:51:19
3rd – Marta Bernardi (ITA) – 3:52:47

7th – Lucy Gossage (GBR) – 3:58:13
9th – Hannah Drewett (GBR) – 4:02:55
14th – Chantal Cummings (GBR) – 4:06:01