Test of endurance in Pangkor

Early morning start for the race at Pangkor Laut.

THE sixth Chapman’s Challenge in Pangkor, Perak, proved to be a gruelling test, yet also one that was enjoyed by the athletes, their families and friends.

Hosted by YTL Hotels’ Pangkor Laut Resort, the annual event has become synonymous with those who have a passion for adventure.

Created in the fighting spirit of the late British Col Freddie Spencer Chapman, the challenge featured a 3.8km road run, a 2.4km trek through a rainforest and a 1km swim in Emerald Bay.

(From left) The Chapman family Hazel, Chris and Stephen in Pangkor for the event.(From left) The Chapman family Hazel, Chris and Stephen in Pangkor for the event.At the end of it all, Matt Buckley of the United Kingdom won the men’s title with a time of 60 minutes and 57 seconds, while Singapore’s Claire Jedrek captured the women’s crown with a time of one hour, 11 minutes, and 35 seconds.

Sam Middlehurst, also of the UK, was first runner-up, and Australia’s John Eyres was second runner-up.

The winners each walked away with a Norqain Adventure Sport timepiece, valued at RM11,200 each.

Also at the Pangkor Laut event were Chapman’s son, Chris, 72, and his grandchildren, Hazel and Stephen who participated again in the men’s event.

The fastest times were clocked by special guests, not in any competitive categories – Andrew Reid (49min:50sec), widely known as Reidy from the celebrated Australian television series Bondi Rescue; Katie Remond (52:31) and Stephen Chapman (1:00:05).

Stephen enters Emerald Bay for the 1km swim.Stephen enters Emerald Bay for the 1km swim.

Speaking to StarMetro, Chris said the family was “most grateful” to have the event held in honour of his father, a British officer-naturalist who demonstrated extraordinary courage, endurance and mental toughness during World War II.

After spending over three years hiding from the Japanese, Chapman never lost his spirit and instead found the courage to cross enemy lines and swim across Emerald Bay to safety.

Reid being congratulated by Chris at the finish line.Reid being congratulated by Chris at the finish line.

YTL Hotels marketing and communications vice-president Geraldine Dreiser said they were delighted with how the triathlon panned out this year, adding that they looked forward to hosting next year’s event, which will mark the 80th anniversary of Spencer Chapman crossing Emerald Bay.

Resort general manager Adwin Chong said guests gave feedback that they had a delightful experience and would be returning.

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