Challenge Family has today announced its return to the Australian triathlon market with three new Challenge Half events being added to the event organiser’s worldwide series.
Challenge Melbourne, Challenge Forster and Challenge Bateman’s Bay will spearhead the Challenge Family’s return to Australia. All three Challenge Half distance events will comprise a 1.9K swim, a 90K cycle and a 21.1K run, together with a prize purse of over AU$30,000.
Challenge Family CEO, Felix Walchshöfer, said the return to the Australian market is a significant milestone for the Challenge Family…
“Australia is an extremely important part of the world for us, we have received messages from athletes every day asking us when we will be back and I’m delighted to announce our return with three very different, but all equally compelling races,” he said.
“Challenge Forster continues our commitment to the legacy of our sport with its strong roots in Australian triathlon; Challenge Bateman’s Bay has been chosen for its great location and athlete experience; while Challenge Melbourne brings the Challenge Family to one of Australia’s iconic cities. We are very proud to work with all the communities and race organisers to bring a new triathlon experience to Australian athletes.”
Walchshöfer’s sentiments were echoed by four-time world champion, Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack, a long-term partner of the Challenge Family. “Challenge Family is all about bringing triathlon back to its roots, where you meet the people behind the event, where you’re welcomed across the finish line by them and where you are truly made to feel that you share the same passion,” McCormack said.
“I’m beyond excited that Challenge is back in Australia and can’t wait to be part of Challenge Family on my home turf.”
New team Down Under
A team of seasoned triathlon industry professionals have come-together to re-launch Challenge Family in Australia, including renowned race-directors David Hansen (SuperSprint) and Mark Emerton (Elite Energy). Hansen will oversee the Challenge Melbourne event, while Emerton will deliver the Challenge Forster and Challenge Batemans Bay events in collaboration with Challenge Family.
Securing Challenge Melbourne has been a big coup for one of Australia’s most experienced event managers, David Hansen, and his team at SuperSprint Events. Months of planning and preparation have culminated in Challenge Melbourne that will take place in the bayside suburb of Sandringham and will showcase the famous Beach Road and the miles of running tracks that follow the bay. The inaugural Challenge Melbourne event will take place on 2 February 2014.
“I have always felt a race over the half distance would be very popular in Melbourne along Beach Road,” said Hansen.
“With the link to the world’s biggest long distance event in Challenge Roth, I believe that Challenge Melbourne will provide athletes with an incredible race experience, while enjoying the best of what Melbourne has to offer.”
Long distance tri gets its root down in Forster
Challenge Forster will see the return of international long-course triathlon to a traditional home of long-course triathlon in Australia. The hosting of a race in Forster continues Challenge’s commitment to the sport’s legacy with traditional long-course race locations such Roth in Germany, Phuket (Thailand), Penticton (Canada) and Almere-Amsterdam (Netherlands).
(Originally the home of Ironman Australia – before Ironman brand owner World Triathlon Corp (WTC), relocated to Port Macquarie in 2006 – Forster has been a popular tri destination with a strong local club and number of other races in the area.)
Mark Emerton, Challenge Forster Race Director, has been instrumental in seeing the return of an international event to Forster and is looking forward to showcasing to a new generation of athletes an original long distance tri course that made the town famous amongst endurance enthusiasts worldwide.
‘I am very excited that Challenge is coming to my old home town,” said Emerton.
“I recall the days when legendary athletes like Jurgen Zack, Peter Reid and Bruce Thomas would come to town to test themselves on the challenging course. So it is with a great deal of pride that I can, along with the Challenge Family, show athletes what all the fuss was about.”
Emerton added, “We will have a category that will encourage former champions from the early years to come and race each other again and to experience the Forster finish line again.”
Challenge Forster will take place in the idyllic twin towns of Forster-Tuncurry on the NSW Mid-North Coast on Sunday 24 November 2013.
Bateman’s Bay a ‘hidden gem’
Emerton and his team at Elite Energy will also organise the Challenge Bateman’s Bay event scheduled for 16 March 2014. Bateman’s Bay, located on the NSW south coast, offers a brand new area for endurance athletes to call home.
“Bateman’s Bay is one of those hidden gems which athletes will fall in love with now that Challenge has come to town. Everyone is excited about the course and location and my team and I feel privileged to be hosting this event there,” said Emerton.
The Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons is ‘changing the face of long distance racing around the world with its focus on athlete experience.’ Featuring spectacular courses in iconic destinations, Challenge Family events focus on delivering the race-of-a-lifetime to every athlete, and creating a memorable spectator experience that captures all the excitement and emotion of this inspirational sport.
The addition of the Australian races takes the Challenge Family to 21 events around the world including the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany. Other Challenge Family races take place in Germany, Austria, Canada, the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, New Zealand, Thailand and Taiwan.
Entries to Challenge Forster, Challenge Melbourne and Challenge Bateman’s Bay open to the general public at 09.00 local time on Friday 10 May at www.challenge-australia.com.au.