Challenge Venice has announced the launch of a completely new relay event that will run alongside the inaugural full distance triathlon, which takes place this year on 5 June.
Thanks to the support of Rete del Dono, a charity crowdfunding network based in Italy, 30 teams focused on charity fundraising will be competing alongside the full distance athletes taking on Challenge Venice this summer.
Up to 7 athletes per team will split the 3.8K swim, 180K cycle and 42K marathon segments. The charity relay event will be won by teams with the highest donations and the fastest times on the day.
A total of 30 teams (a capped number for 2016) are made up of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 athletes. All will be participating to raise funds for a charity of their choice. Charity registrations were via Rete del Dono – Italy’s leading not-for-profit crowdfunding platform, which already works with other high-profile events such as the Milano City Marathon, the Venice Marathon and the Rome Marathon.
This initiative is positioned as an opportunity to ‘share a day of fun with friends whilst contributing to the virtuous circle of solidarity.’
The first athlete on each team undertakes the entire 3.8K swim before passing the baton (the timing chip) to the first athlete in the cycling section in the special Fun Charity Relay transition area where each team’s ‘pits’ will be located.
This athlete then cycles just over 65K before handing over the baton to the third member of the team who will tackle the longest cycling stretch, approximately 110K.
Once the cycling part of the event is complete, the running begins with the fourth member of the team starting the final marathon over a 10.5K circuit which has to be lapped four times. At the end of the first lap, however, each team can decide how to split the following three 10 K laps.
They have the choice of letting the same athlete run several laps, bring in fresh team members for each lap (there is a maximum cut-off of 7 athletes in all) or have athletes that did the swimming and cycling also run.
A release from the Challenge Venice team adds that ‘Once the competing is done, each team will cross the finish-line in its entirety in a fitting end to a fun day that celebrates both team spirit and solidarity.’
Charity team entries open on 15 February on the challengevenice.com/en/fun-charity-relay site and will be handled directly by Rete del Dono. To take part, each team must collect a minimum of €400 for the charity of its choice.
This initiative is Challenge Venice’s way of reinforcing the message of solidarity and team spirit it has adopted as the theme of the 2016 edition. This will also involve telling the unique and often extraordinary stories of its participants, a process begun by the entry of Team Garwood from South Africa made up of father Kevin and his young wheelchair-bound son Nicholas.
As the event organiser, Matteo Gerevini put it, “We are delighted to introduce the Fun Charity Relay, a world first because no one else has ever adopted this kind of format, which will allow a huge group of people to participate in a certified charity event. A full-distance competition might prove to be too demanding for a single athlete, but by turning it into a relay that splits the competition between up to 7 participants, we are confident we’ve come up with an approach that will allow many triathletes and sports enthusiasts to compete in Venice on June 5 in a major charity benefit.”