Top athletes look back at Challenge Walchsee, IM Coeur d’Alene and IM 70.3 Elsinore

(Photo: Instagram Nicola Spirig)

It was a full weekend of racing that included two European Championships happening on the same day at Challenge Walchsee and Ironman 70.3 Elsinore, along with Ironman Coeur d’Alene. You might have already read our extensive race reports, seen a video from Lionel Sanders commenting on his tough race in Coeur d’Alene, but let’s relive some of the action again through the eyes of a few other race favorites. Good and bad days, excitement and disappointment, it was all there:

Anne Haug (2nd place Challenge Walchsee)

Right after the finish line a very emotional Anne Haug appeared in front of our camera. After a tough day battling with Nicola Spirig, she had to settle with second. “Tough day in the office and no chance at all to give Nicola Spirig the slightest bit of a fight today. What a super impressive performance from her – from start to finish line. I felt very powerless from the beginning. I haven’t had such a feeling before. Even on the run my legs didn’t want to fly. Instead, I had to fight for every step I took. But I am happy that it was enough for my first Europe Triathlon European Championship medal.”

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A post shared by Anne Haug 🏆 IronmanWorldChamp (@tri.anne.haug)

Lucy Charles-Barclay (winner Ironman 70.3 Elsinore)

From a disappointed Haug to Lucy Charles-Barclay, who was feeling “over the moon” with her European Championship title at Ironman 70.3 Elsinore. A record-setting pace in all three disciplines resulted in Charles going sub four and finishing well ahead Holly Lawrence (GBR). 

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A post shared by Lucy Charles-Barclay (@lucycharles93)

Justin Metzler (2nd place Ironman Coeur d’Alene)

It was a very special day for America’s Justin Metzler, who took his first Ironman podium ever at yesterday’s Ironman Coeur d’Alene and earned himself a ticket to Kona. “I’ve dreamed of a day like that since I started triathlon 15 years ago. This finish line feeling makes it all worth it.” 

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A post shared by Justin ‘BIGMETZ’ Metzler (@bigmetztri)

Kyle Smith (5th place Ironman 70.3 Elsinore)

After spending nearly the entire race in first place, in the final kilometers, Kyle Smith had to let go of the dream of winning Ironman 70.3 Elsinore. He quickly dropped back in the field and even lost a spot on the podium. Smith eventually crossed the line in fifth place. That he still managed to race this strong after the injury trouble he’s been through over the last months – as he explains in the Instagram post below – is impressive. 

“Full beans yesterday from the gun. Came up just short, but I gave it everything out there. I was stoked with how I raced, leading out of the swim and came off the bike with a 2-minute lead on the 10-man pack. I ran a 1:12 which wasn’t quite enough to hold off the flying George Goodwin who ran a 1:08 to take the tape, and subsequently Rudy von Berg and Jan Stratmann, who came round in the last kilometer, when the wheels fell off, and took podium honors.” 

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A post shared by Kyle Smith (@kylesmithnzl)

Nicola Spirig (winner Challenge Walchsee)

With her fifth Olympics waiting around the corner, Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig proved she’s in great shape at yesterday’s Challenge Walchsee. An especially-strong run saw her eventually lift the tape. “Thank you to my team and Brett Sutton (her coach) for always finding new challenges. Back in St. Moritz to continue the preparation for the Olympics in Tokyo,” she wrote on Instagram, sharing some nice photos from the race. 

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A post shared by Nicola Spirig (@nicolaspirigofficial)

Carrie Lester (winner Ironman Coeur d’Alene)

“A dream day I doubted would ever happen again. Thank you Coeur d’Alene!” Carrie Lester– who got to celebrate this big win at the age of 40 – wrote on Instagram. 

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A post shared by Carrie Lester (@carrieelester)