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Victorious India Lee and Kyle Smith react to course record breaking day at The Championship

Records were smashed at The Championship, as India Lee and Kyle Smith secured the titles on a great day of racing.

Staff Reporter
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India Lee and Kyle Smith capped off an incredible weekend at The Championship with new course records, as the pair dismantled two top fields to take the spoils in Šamorín.

Lee, who defended her title from last year, finished in a time of 3:56:45, with Smith stopping the clock with a time of 3:27:10 to take his first victory in Slovakia.

In warm conditions, both athletes consolidated their leads on the run and thanked the event’s organizers and their fellow competitors for an exhilarating experience.

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“I didn’t expect to get the course record”

Over the past 12 months, Lee has seen her stock rise considerably, with the British star coming into this race as the firm favourite following recent success on the T100 Tour in Miami.

India Lee (GBR) took the win at The Championship 2024.
[Photo Credit – Challenge Family]

However, she was still made to work hard for the win, and with only a 20 second lead off the bike, had to push hard over the half marathon to take the tape.

“It feels really good and I’m really happy. I didn’t expect to get the course record, but I just went out there to do my best swim, bike and run and this time it happened to be quicker than last year.

“I took the lead about halfway through the bike and then just didn’t look behind me again. I wasn’t sure if I had a gap or not after T2, and I had 20 seconds and just consolidated that on the run.” 

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“I feel like a chapter of ill health has come to an end”

For Smith, the win was made extra special given his history in Slovakia, with the Kiwi sharing that it was two years ago in Šamorín that he started to notice some issues that severely impacted his health.

India Lee (GBR) and Kyle Smith (NZL) celebrate together at the finish line in Samorin.
India Lee and Kyle Smith at the finish line [Photo Credit – Activ Images]

“It was an amazing day out there as it always is out here in Šamorín. I was super stoked to take the win and as you saw it was super emotional.

“I feel like a chapter of ill health has come to an end finally, which is really nice, it started at this race two years ago where I had a bad race and had a lot of questions to answer, so it’s nice to come full circle.” 

Reflecting on the race, the 26-year-old described the half marathon as “the run of my life”, which was made even more impressive by the brutality of the bike leg.

“The race was incredible, we were absolutely hauling on the bike over the first 45km, we were going 50kmph and I knew then it was going to be a tough day and I just had to be patient.

“I had to keep racing my race and I knew I had been running well, I’ve put so much work into my run this past six months, so it was really nice here to have the run of my life.” 

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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