Yvette tops world class field in the Henley challenge

Yvette Grice
Yvette Grice

Yvette Grice of Teambodyworks XTC in Eastbourne won her second major title at the inaugural Challenge Henley race last weekend.

The race competed over the Ironman Distance of a 3.8km swim in the River Thames, 180km cycle over the Chiltern Hills and a 42.1km run around Henley Town proved to be a tough course, which wasn’t helped by the race starting in chilly four degrees and a mist hanging over the Thames.

Grice (pictured left) soon warmed up and led the female Professionals out of the water.

Cycling has long been Grice’s Achilles heel, often losing large amounts of time to her rivals but she showed her new found strength in the discipline and after falling 4mins back into 4th place, worked back through the field to finish the bike leg in joint first alongside New Zealander Candice Hammond.

Grice took the lead early into the marathon and despite being put under pressure from a strongly assembled international field, held the lead to take the finish tape in a superb time of 9hours 47mins.

Grice said, “I’m so happy. My season started a bit slower than I had hoped but I have improved each race and to come off the bike in joint first was a major improvement for me.

“It was hard running at the front, but the course was great and the support from the supporters and athletes was fantastic.”

Grice will now finish her season at Challenge Cape Town, again over the Ironman distance where she will look to carry on the improvements she has made this season.

The success didn’t finish there for Team Bodyworks athletes with Emma Richards, competing in her first race as a professional finishing an excellent seventh place in a time of 10 hours 44mins.

Emma Richards combined her training for the event with her full time job as a sports lecturer, but despite this produced a personal best time swim putting her in 7th place. A confident cycle section put Emma at the start of her strongest discipline of the run in 9th position.

Her strength and determination gained her two more places during the run to finish her first professional event against a world class field in 7th place in a time of 10 hours 44 min.

Emma has won many local awards such as Eastbourne Rovers Cycle Club Championships, Beachy Head Marathon, Hailsham Harriers Grand Prix and Sussex Triathlon and this was her first venture into the world of professional sport.

Matt Dowle finished fourth in the tough 30-34 year age group in a time of 10hours 22mins.