Challenge Family has announced Challenge Bahrain as the newest member of the global long distance triathlon series – with a notable prize purse of US$500,000. According to Challenge Family, ‘Challenge Bahrain promises to set a new standard in triathlon with a record prize purse and unsurpassed overall experience for all athletes.’
With the first of the annual events in Bahrain taking place on 6 December 2014, Challenge Bahrain marks a new Middle East partnership between Challenge Family and the country of Bahrain. The partnership will have a strong focus on encouraging new participation and excellence in triathlon while creating an opportunity for professional athletes with its US$500,000 prize purse, ‘the largest in the world over the 1.9K/90K/21K distance to insure the widest and most professional participation.’
The point-to-point course is designed to take athletes on a journey through Bahrain’s history, from the high tech future to the roots of this ancient civilisation dating back 4,000 years. It also includes one of the most exciting new developments in the progression of triathlon, the newly announced ‘Bahrain Triathlon City’.
Dedicated purely to triathlon, this unique high performance training centre will feature altitude-controlled training facilities and accommodation as well as world classing swimming, biking and running circuits, aimed at being the best in the world.
His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, President of The Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, said the partnership with Challenge Family was driven by a desire to inspire the nation’s citizens by staging a world class event open to public participation.
“We have always been committed to host world-class sport events in the Kingdom of Bahrain in order to provide our youth and sports communities the opportunity to experience what the world has to offer at their arms reach. From Formula One to various other events, it is time for us to support one of the fastest growing sport in the world, triathlon. With open arms, we say welcome to you all to the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
President of the Bahrain Triathlon Association, Shaikh Saqer bin Salman Al Khalifa, said while Bahrain is a small island, it is rich with character; and Challenge Bahrain will give athletes a true taste of its culture and local flavours, as well as its commitment to taking triathlon to the next level.
“Our aim in the Triathlon Association is to promote the spread of triathlon in our Kingdom and place ourselves in the world triathlon map. Challenge Bahrain is the perfect fit in our strategy and we will aim to capitalize as much as we can by both providing local programmes to increase our triathletes’ base as well as be as hospitable as possible to international professional and age group triathletes so we can build a good and solid integration. We believe in the future of triathlon.”
Challenge Family’s, Zibi Szlufcik echoed these sentiments, “This will be spectacular! Athletes will be blown away by what they will experience in Bahrain, from the high-level calibre of competition to the outstanding race packs, to the generous hospitality of the Bahrain people,” he said.
“Challenge Family’s commitment to athlete experience and the progression of the sport will leap several steps forward with Challenge Bahrain. With the full support from the authorities in the government of Bahrain, we have a long term future of working together to set new standards to the benefit of all levels of triathlon, from the pro athletes to the first timers and everyone in between.”
Course spans the old and new
The Challenge Bahrain 1.9K swim will take place in the calm waters of Bahrain Bay, surrounded by some of the Middle East’s most striking modern architecture, including the landmark Four Seasons and World Trade Centre in the Financial Harbour of Manama.
On leaving T1, athletes will cross over the bridge to the traditional community on Muharraq Island before heading back to Manama and past the Al Fateh Grand Mosque, the largest in Bahrain and the National Museum, hosting the newly inaugurated world-class National Theatre. After looping back through the spectator areas of T1, the bike course heads out of the city, and through residential areas.
As it heads south, the course leaves behind the ‘land of a million palm trees’ and heads to the desert, passing through a major archaeological site. The thousands of Dilmun Burial Mounds date back to 3,000BC when ‘the beauty of Bahrain was considered heaven, the most perfect eternal resting place’.
After their journey through history, the athletes will go forward through time for a lap of the Formula One track, designed to be the fastest in the world. The cars do it in 1:40; the athletes are expected to take a little longer!
The run leg is unique, traversing through the heart of a wild life park. Athletes will run past ostriches, giraffes, birds, horses, camels, Oryx and through the natural landscapes of Bahrain before crossing the finish line at the Formula One complex.
Challenge Bahrain will take place on 6 December 2014 with entries for both individuals and relay teams open now at www.challenge-bahrain.com.bh.