Challenge Wales 2022 results: Aaron Royle, Lucy Byram take wins

Aaron Royle and Lucy Byram took victory on Saturday in Fishguard at the debut edition of the 2XU Challenge Wales

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

The wind was blowing and the temperatures pretty chilly – but the debut of the 2XU Challenge Wales in Fishguard was never likely to be an easy challenge for anyone.

There was close racing at the front of the men’s race from an experienced Olympian to take a narrow win, with a first professional middle distance victory for the women’s champion.


Pro Men

Three athletes broke clear from the start of the race over the two-lap swim. Australian Aaron Royle, Commonwealth Games-bound Josh Lewis (who will be representing Guernsey), and Tom Bishop. All three raced last weekend in Leeds; Royle and Bishop in the WTCS event, and Lewis in the British Triathlon Super Series race that proceeded it.

Royle was first out of the swim in 21-minutes flat, with Lewis (21:06) and Bishop (21:11) right in touch, before a gap of almost 20 seconds back to James Chantler-Mayne, who was a solo chaser. Tom Davis lead the bigger chase group out in 22:16.

While best known for his short course career, Royle has won an IRONMAN 70.3 previously (Sunshine Coast 2020), and was also second last year at IRONMAN 70.3 Cascais, Portugal. He was no middle distance novice.

Royle continued to push the pace on the bike, but couldn’t drop Lewis and Bishop on the rolling course.

Josh Lewis was actually first into T2 after a 2:15:32 bike split, but not far behind, eight athletes would start the run in very close order with the Channel Islander chased by Royle, Bishop, Tom Davis, Harry Palmer, Sam Wade, Jack Hutchens and, with the fastest bike split of the day, Germany’s Markus Thomschke.

Those eight athletes would fill the top eight positions 21km later – and there really wasn’t much between them. The experienced Australian, Royle, came out on top with a 1:13:28 run split, but the men’s podium was separated by less than a minute. To add a little extra into the mix, Royle also had to serve a bike dismount line penalty.

Jack Hutchens – who recently won the Outlaw Half Triathlon – just pipped Harry Palmer (another Outlaw Triathlon Series winner), for second. That makes it a great week for Palmer, who just six days ago was finishing fifth at IRONMAN 70.3 Warsaw.


Pro Women

Hannah Munday set the pace in the water for the women, her 24:12 giving her a one-minute advantage over Megan McDonald and Lucy Byram.

With just three Pro women starting (Byram, plus Tara Grosvenor and Claire Weller), it would be an opportunity for some of the top age-group women to be mixing it towards the front of the race too.

Second recently at Challenge Riccione, Lucy Byram took an early lead on the bike, but Megan McDonald was not giving up much time, while the fastest rider of the day was Laura Addie, who as an amateur champion at the IRONMAN World Championship back in 2019.

Once onto the run, Byram took control and with a 1:26:21 run split, she finished well clear of what would be four age-group athletes, with Addie (2nd) and McDonald (3rd) being next across the line.


Challenge Wales 2022 results

Saturday 18 June 2022 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

Pro Men

  • 1. Aaron Royle (AUS) – 3:51:48
  • 2. Jack Hutchens (GBR) – 3:52:34
  • 3. Harry Palmer (GBR) – 3:52:37
  • 4. Thomas Bishop (GBR) – 3:52:55
  • 5. Joshua Lewis (GBR) – 3:53:02
  • 6. Thomas Davis (GBR) – 3:53:07


  • 1. Lucy Byram (GBR) – 4:26:59
  • 2. Laura Addie (GBR) – 4:37:15 (AG 25-29)
  • 3. Megan McDonald (GBR) – 4:41:09 (AG 25-29)
  • 4. Rhianne Hughes (GBR) – 4:42:05 (AG 18-24)
  • 5. Hannah Munday (GBR) – 4:45:16 (AG 30-34)
  • 6. Tara Grosvenor (GBR) – 4:46:32
  • 7. Claire Weller (GBR) – 4:52:20

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.


In episode 1 of our new SBRX Show we sit down with ultra runners and coaches Kim and Jayson Cavill to get their take on the Barkley Marathons and triathlon & trail running gear reviews, training tips and more
Discover more
Anne Haug wins IRONMAN Lanzarote 2024
Anne Haug bounces back with SENSATIONAL season opener at IRONMAN Lanzarote
sumarpo triathlon swimming wetsuit
Sumarpo Vanguard triathlon and swimming wetsuit review – Can it challenge the mainstream tri wetsuit brands?
sea swimming sumarpo triathlon wetsuit
How to get faster at open water swimming – triathlon swim training tips to up your race pace
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Best middle distance triathlon bike courses – from the fastest courses to the most epic scenery
Challenge St. Pölten 2023 - Photo Credit José Luis Hourcade
Five reasons to race Challenge St. Pölten – kickstart your race season with this scenic middle distance triathlon
latest News
India Lee (GBR) and Kyle Smith (NZL) celebrate together at the finish line in Samorin.
Victorious India Lee and Kyle Smith react to course record breaking day at The Championship
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Men Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times for Kyle Smith, Joe Skipper and more
Challenge Family The Championship 2024 - Women Pro Podium
The Championship results: Full finishing order and times after emphatic India Lee win
India Lee (GBR) took the win at The Championship 2024.
The Championship 2024 women’s results: India Lee takes back-to-back titles and breaks her 2023 record
Kyle Smith took a memorable win at The Championship 2024.
The Championship 2024 men’s results: Kyle Smith smashes the course record with incredible win
triathlon on your terms
Never miss out with our triathlon alerts & digest. Get a dose of adventure & inspiration with Boundless.
Invalid email address
The SBRX Group

Proudly elevating endurance sports through content, products & services

Share to...