Dirk Bockel and Michelle Vesterby win Challenge Denmark

13 JUNE 2015 – Dirk Bockel (LUX) was across the finish line at the first ever CHALLENGEDENMARK while local, Michelle Vesterby (DEN) took out the women’s race held in the Danish cities of Herning and Billund.

Having recently battled a hip injury, Bockel was ecstatic with the win.

“I proved today that I am back,” he said after crossing the finish line and taking out the CHALLENGEDENMARK Half. “It’s been a couple of up and down months and it took a lot of effort to come back,” Dirk told Bob Babbit in a post-race interview.

Dirk Bockel

Bockel was third out of the water in 24:24, just three seconds down on leader Thomas Strange (DEN). He exited T1 in the lead and there he stayed for the rest of the race, but it was not an easy win. Bockel was never more than 1:50 ahead of the chase pack and Strange was certainly not one to give in, reducing the lead to 56 seconds by the time they crossed the line.

Danish triathlete Michelle Vesterby managed to shake Catherine Jameson (GBR) and Mary Beth Ellis (USA) on the women’s half distance race, securing a true home victory – in more than one sense.

“That was for my husband,” she said, having just crossed the finish line. Michelle Vesterby is originally from Herning – and her husband is the CHALLENGEDENMARK Race Director.

Vesterby had the win in her sights right from the start, exiting the swim in third place behind Jameson and Ellis. However, Jameson proved uncatchable on the bike, heading into T2 2:06 ahead of Vesterby. Vesterby’s love for running shone through and by the 6km mark she had taken the lead, which she continued to extend to take the win in 4:19:32

“We have been looking forward to this day for a very long time, and it is so cool to be here today with so many winners; those finishing first as well as all those completing the half- or full distance. We would not be able to stand here today as winners if it weren’t for the hard work of all the volunteers and the support from the cities of Herning and Billund as well as Sport Event Denmark,” says Race Director Claus Vesterby.

In the full distance race, Chris Fischer (DEN) took out the men’s race in a personal best of 8:23:29 having led from the first few km of the bike. The women’s race was won by Beate Goertz (GER) in 9:22:28.

The three legends of triathlon, Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack, Thomas Hellriegel and Luc Van Lierde also made it to Denmark. They teamed up in a legendary relay team that finished fifth.

See Bob Babbitt’s interviews with the pro triathletes and video from the race here: http://www.balorama.biz/tv/

Full distance:
1. Chris Fischer, DEN, 8:23:29
2. Dirk Wijnalda, NED, 8:31:08
3. Anders Christensen, DEN, 8:37:04

1. Beate Goertz, GER, 9:22:28
2. Carolin Lehrieder, GER, 9:23:29
3. Jessie Donovan, USA, 9:33:28

Half distance:
1. Dirk Bockel, LUX, 3:51:16
2. Thomas Strange, DEN, 3:52:12
3. Markus Fachbach, GER, 3:52:45

1. Michelle Vesterby, DEN, 4:19:32
2. Mary Beth Ellis, USA, 4:22:15
3. Catherine Jameson, GBR, 4:27:04

For more results see: http://live.ultimate.dk/desktop/front/?eventid=2327&language=us



The CHALLENGEFAMILY series of triathlons features 44 full and half distance races in 23 countries around the world, including the world’s largest long distance triathlon – CHALLENGEROTH in Germany. The birthplace of the CHALLENGEFAMILY, CHALLENGEROTH now features over 5,500 athletes and 220,000 spectators and home to both world records held by Andreas Raelert (GER) and Chrissie Wellington (GBR). Since 2002, races throughout Europe, UK, Australasia, Asia, North America and South America have joined Roth. Together they provide athletes with a new experience of long distance racing with a strong focus on athlete and spectator experience, giving back to the community while respecting the legacy of sport and being committed to its continued growth. For further information on CHALLENGEFAMILY visit www.challenge-family.com.


Karl Hayes

Head of Rest and Recovery

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.