Noble and Nieuwoudt dominate at Challenge Gunsan-Saemangeum

Professional long distance racing returned to South Korea this weekend with Challenge Gunsan-Saemangeum and it was Australia’s Caleb Noble who took out the men’s win in 8:01:23 and Magda Nieuwoudt took the women’s in 9:00:51, both with convincing wins.

Noble was out of the water neck and neck with Guy Crawford (NZL) and quickly took the lead on the bike, a position he held until the latter stages with Ben Hamilton (NZL) leading into T2. He quickly resumed his lead on the run, holding on for the full marathon before taking the win. Behind him was Kevin Portmann (FRA) 1:44 down with Hamilton rounding out the podium in third 8:15:51.

Noble said it was a tough day out there. “The last 5km on the run was brutal, I was cramping, I was walking, I thought I’d lost it but I had to mentally hold on and I’m really happy to take the win.”

Nieuwoudt’s lead started with the swim, exiting the water 14 seconds ahead of New Zealand’s Kate Bevilaqua. By halfway through the 90km bike, she was 13 minutes up on Bevilaqua and by T2 she had extended it to 23 minutes. On the run she was unstoppable and doubled her lead, crossing the line in 9:00:51, 47 minutes ahead of Bevilaqua. Local Korean athlete, Ji Ho took out third in 10:36:42.

Neiuwoudt also said it was a hard race but she was thrilled with her win, just three weeks after taking out the win at Challenge Fréjus. “It was flat it was windy and it was really tough as there bits that were very lonely so you had to keep yourself in the game. But on the run the spectators were amazing, even the guys running the other way were cheering me on.”

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