The Challenge Family has today announced the expansion of its global series of long distance triathlons into North America with the launch of Challenge Penticton in Canada. Challenge Penticton joins the Challenge Family’s series of races that includes the world’s largest iron distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany.
Acknowledging the role of Penticton, British Columbia, for long distance triathlon over the years, Challenge Family CEO Felix Walchshöfer said that bringing together two of triathlon’s oldest and most respected races reinforced the all-important legacy of the sport.
“The towns of Roth in Germany and Penticton in Canada have both grown remarkable races since the earliest days of the sport. To have them together in one family, both in the hands of their respective communities, ensures this legacy will continue for years to come,” said Walchshöfer.
Penticton has historically been the home of rival Ironman, with its Ironman Canada event. On Sunday 26 August, more than 2,800 athletes will compete in the 30th anniversary edition of Subaru Ironman Canada. Although not explicit from the latest release from Challenge Family, it has been confirmed that Challenge’s new Penticton event is replacing Ironman Canada as the long-distance race of choice for the Canadian town.
Taking place on 25 August 2013, the Challenge Family notes that ‘Challenge Penticton will bring a new race experience to a time-honoured course. Athletes will benefit from the inclusion of relay teams, festival events and the unique Challenge Family atmosphere popular throughout Europe and beyond.’
The launch of Challenge Penticton sees it as the exclusive full iron distance Challenge race in Canada, and marks the long-distance race returning to its roots with community support and ownership.
“Challenge Penticton will be community driven and designed to benefit residents and athletes alike,” said Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton. “The event will involve a week-long festival that provides a unique experience for athletes, families and spectators, while showcasing our warm and welcoming city. We are happy to be joining the Challenge Family.”
In addition to reducing the opening registration fee to C$675 (including taxes; US$680 at current exchange rates), Challenge Penticton will aim to offer value to athletes of all abilities and backgrounds alongside an enhanced race experience. The race field will be restructured to include wave starts, which will allow the addition of relay teams for the first time in Penticton. In addition, professional triathletes will benefit from a prize purse of more than C$60,000 – with the prize purse paying down to 10th place.
“Growing the sport of triathlon is one of Challenge Family’s key objectives,” said Walchshöfer. “It’s important to us that entry fee levels are set to include as many athletes as possible while the relay teams offer an achievable entry into the sport we are all so passionate about.”
“Over the years we’ve seen many triathletes who started out doing one discipline in the teams cross the finish line as an individual, and we’re very proud to play a part in their triathlon journey.”
Challenge Penticton will also reportedly feature one of North America’s most revered triathletes as event ambassador. Three-time world champion and four-times Canadian Triathlete of the Year, Peter Reid, said he was looking forward to building the legacy of the sport with Challenge Family at a race with which he has strong ties.
“It was always my biggest dream to end my career with a race at Penticton but sadly, it just didn’t work out. I’ve watched the race many times with friends since and am looking forward to being a part of this new era of triathlon in Penticton,” Reid said. “The Challenge Family philosophy of putting the athletes first and giving back to communities is something I strongly endorse and I’m thrilled to come back into the triathlon race scene and support the future of the sport.”