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Challenge Billund-Herning secures 2017 ETU Half Distance Champs

Challenge Billund-Herning 2016

Challenge Billund-Herning event organizer RaceMakers has succeeded in securing the ETU European Half Distance Triathlon Championship for the Denmark-based event. Next year’s event takes place in the Danish city of Herning on Saturday 10 June 2017.

Athletes will swim 1.9 km, bike 90 km and run 21.1km during the race. The European Championships hosted by Challenge Herning will be organized by RaceMakers in collaboration with the European Triathlon Union (ETU), the Danish Triathlon Federation, Sport Event Denmark, and the Municipality of Herning.

“By joining forces and making use of the competences that characterize the Challenge Family organization alongside the federations, Sport Event Denmark and the Municipality of Herning, we have an incredible opportunity to create a much larger event than what would otherwise have been the case,” said Claus Vesterby, Event Director and partner at RaceMakers.

“Through the championship, we attract the entire European elite to Denmark. And because we have an open race, everyone is welcome to participate and compete against the top athletes within this field. If you train properly and it’s your day, everyone has a chance of standing on the podium,” added Vesterby.

“With Challenge Herning and our Nordic team we are establishing an excellent portfolio of high quality races in the region,” said Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of Challenge Family.

He continued, “Hosting the official European Championship Half Distance in Denmark is a privilege and commitment to a long and lasting partnership with the European Federation, the governing body of our sport, and the national federation of Denmark.”

“A European Championship in triathlon has the ability to bring together elite and age group athletes,” says Lars Lundov, CEO at Sport Event Denmark. “We have previously seen it during other big international triathlon events in Denmark, and we saw it very notably at the World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen in 2014. [Having] elite and age groupers in the same race creates a completely unique and dynamic experience.”

Lars Krarup, the Mayor of Herning, sees the European Championship as an opportunity to display the area.

“In and around Herning, there are many scenic areas,” Krarup said. “The contestants will swim in our wonderful Lake Fuglsang, go on a bike ride through our beautiful nature, which the spectators will be able to enjoy along the route. Finally, they will reach the finish line at the city square in Herning. In connection to this, we are planning a major celebration where everyone can follow the participants during the race and finish with music and a party. I’m positive, that we will have a great championship.”

Claus Vesterby at RaceMakers continued, “It is an honour to have been selected to arrange an event on this scale in Herning. We have had so much support and so much experience from large championships to draw on that we never questioned that Herning should be the host city.”

“In 2017, the federation is excited about the European Championships for the popular middle distance hosted by the energetic city of Herning and organized by RaceMakers, and well-assisted by local triathlon clubs,” said Morten Fenger, CEO for the Danish Triathlon Federation.

He continued “In 2018, we continue the success – this time with the Multisport World Championships on Funen. What characterizes these international championships on Danish soil, is that we have split our focus in two. First, to demonstrate the strength of the Danish elite on an international scale. Second, to ensure that age group contestants have an incredible experience at the Championship – because only through this we can succeed in spreading the word about the Danes’ new favourite sport – triathlon.”

Athletes from 31 countries competed at this year’s ETU Half Distance Championship and the expectations for next year are an even bigger international field.




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