It was a beautiful day for Joost Somsen (NED) and Anna Busse (GER), because both athletes won the Middle Distance at CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM today by a wide margin. Somsen had a lead of over ten minutes on his first pursuer, while Busse was even more than fifteen minutes ahead of her first chasing athlete.
Somsen started the day well by coming out of the water in a leading group of two athletes: after 28:28 minutes he had finished his 1.9-kilometer swim. From that moment on, the Dutch talent, only 22 years old, was really on a roll, because on the bike he quickly rode away from the rest of the field and then he saw his lead only increase. His 90-kilometer bike leg was completed in a time of 2:08:34.
During the run, Somsen did not slacken off and kept the pace high. After 1:18:32 hours he had completed his three running laps around the swimming lake and could call himself – after 4:00:54 hours in total – the winner of the Middle Distance CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM. Matthias Kindel (GER) finished second in a time of 4:10:44 and Joachim Philipps (FRA) was third after 4:14:18.
Among the women, there was also one athlete who was overwhelmingly the strongest: Germany’s Anna Busse. With a swimming time of 28:21 minutes she immediately laid a good foundation for her victory. On the bike, she continued to do so well and when she hung her bike back in the transition area after 2:35:16, her victory seemed almost a certainty. During the half marathon, which she completed in 1:20:06, she was never in danger and actually ran very relaxed to victory, which she took after 4:29:02. The Dutch Samantha de Knijff finished second, 15:28 minutes behind Busse. In the final phase of the half marathon, she did pass Valeria Kleiner; the German athlete finished third, 21:35 minutes behind Busse.
A total of about 800 athletes were at the start of the Middle Distance. Next Sunday – 12-09-2021 – the World Championship Long Distance over the classic distance and the World Championship Aquabike will follow, among others. This race can be followed in full via a livestream at www.challenge-family.live.