Katharina Wolff takes the day at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam

(Photo: Jose Luis Hourcade)

She had to work hard for it and had to accept Germany’s Lina-Kristin Schink in front of her for most of the race, but in the final part of the marathon fellow German Katharina Wolff ran to the first place. In a time of 9:10:10 hours, Wolff won the European Championship at Challenge Almere-Amsterdam. She shared the podium with Schink and Sweden’s Jenny Nae, who took second and third respectively.

Wolff and Denmark’s Karina Gosvig were the first two athletes out of the water. The two were more than five minutes ahead of the third and fourth women once they started the bike part, that were Schink and Dutch Janien Lubben. Gosvig was on fire in the first part of the bike course, because it didn’t take long before she started to drop Wolff. She wasn’t able to keep that up, though, because after a few kilometers, Wolff found her rhythm and took over.

After about three hours of racing, Schink had found the first woman – still Wolff – and taken over. In the second part of the bike leg, the wind started to pick up, something Schink is quite familiar with as she raced Challenge Almere-Amsterdam a few times before. During these tough kilometers, Schink extended her lead to Wolff to more than three minutes. Behind them, Gosvig dropped back, while Lubben and Norway’s Julia Aspesletten moved up to a respective third and fourth place.

In the second half of the bike course, Schink had managed to extend her lead to 3:30 minutes. Therefor, the German athlete had quite a nice buffer to Wolff when starting the run. Within seven km, the gap between these two ladies had shrunk to just one minute, which saw a tight battle take shape for the gold. Schink wasn’t able to maintain her first place, and eventually saw Wolff run past her. Therefor it was Wolff crossing the line as the new European Champion Long Distance, Schink taking second and Nae earned a bronze medal thanks to a strong run.