Canada’s Jeff Symonds took fourth on Sunday at Challenge Melbourne in a tight finish in windy 30 kph winds. Only 17 seconds separated third through fifth. Symonds’s time was 3:53:28, just 11 seconds behind third place Peter Robertson of Australia in 3:53:17. Symonds is set to race Ironman 70.3 Geelong this coming weekend and Ironman Melbourne on March 22.
Australia’s Leon Griffin took first place in 3:51:41. After the race, he told event organizers,“I just wanted to be aggressive the whole time, sometimes you lay it down on the line and it pays off and it did today.”
Former 70.3 World Champ Melissa Hauschildt edged out Christie Sym in second and Lisa Marangon in third to take the win 4:19:12. She came from behind to run down her competition, exiting the water two and a half minutes behind the lead group. The victory positions Hauschildt well for the new Challenge Triple Crown Series in the Middle East. After the race Hauschildt said,“The plan was to ride as I hard as I can, I like the wind, the rain made the corners a bit sketchy, so I took that real easy. I felt pretty good on the bike. The run on the last lap was where the legs fell off.”