Next year’s 2017 Challenge Melbourne long course triathlon will be recognised as the 2017 official Challenge Asia Pacific Championships. Further details have now been released about the Asia Pacific Championships, which will be hosted at Melbourne’s St Kilda Catani Gardens on 9 April 2017.
The organising team in Melbourne, Australia, is extending an invitation to the Asia Pacific Challenge family including: Challenge Taiwan, Challenge Iskandar Malaysia, Challenge Vietnam, Challenge Jeju Korea, Challenge Kanchanaburi Thailand and Challenge Wanaka – for athletes and fans to experience all Melbourne has to offer.
The Challenge Asia Pacific Championships have also confirmed new sponsored partners including ‘Giant Bicycles, Red Bull, Project Clothing & Endura to name only a few’. Accommodation and travel packages are now available giving athletes the option of staying in the heart of Melbourne or in the thriving suburb of St Kilda.
At the Asia Pacific Championships in Melbourne, there will be 66 male and 66 female qualifying slots up for grabs to enter The Championship, the new global half distance championship event from Challenge Family. This takes place in Slovakia in June 2017. Another 10 qualifying slots for Challenge Roth will be on offer at the Asia Pacific Championships in Melbourne.
A release from SME360, which runs Challenge Melbourne and a number of other mass participation events, notes that ‘With such great competition across the Asia Pacific region we would like to showcase one of the best triathlon events in Australia to our competitors and Challenge Family by offering them an unforgettable race and a holiday to remember.’
The Event Village and Challenge Recovery Zone will be positioned in Catani Gardens, St Kilda, which is a short walk to many of of Melbourne’s hot spots. Athltes and spectators can soak up the experience post-race by visiting nearby tourist attractions such as the St Kilda Sea Baths, located on the beach front. SME360 adds that the hot and cold pools are perfect for relaxing post event.
Close by are popular beach front restaurants where friends and family can spectate all the race day action whilst enjoying a refreshing drink with locals. Nearby Acland Street in St Kilda is a short walk from the event village and is one of Melbourne’s most popular eatery and cultural destinations. ‘Cake patisseries and restaurants line the street, promising all day breakfasts and something fresh and tasty every visit.’ Local street artists and musicians also perform most nights in St Kilda.
The Challenge Village is also a brief walk from the well-known Luna Park, Melbourne’s iconic theme park with over 100 years of history. Here, visitors can experience spiders, penguins, serpents, roller coasters rides’, dodgem cars, carousels, games and more.
- The Challenge Melbourne St Kilda course boasts an L-shape 1.9km wetsuit swim, located in Port Phillip Bay next to St Kilda Pier, in front of the St Kilda Sea Baths. The protected waters should ‘ensure all pedigrees of athletes a great start to their race’.
- Following the swim, the 90km ride will see the cyclists line the bay side suburbs, with scenic views of the coastline this is a smooth and fast course with three thirty-kilometre laps of Beach Road, St Kilda to Black Rock.
- Lastly the 21.1km run will take place along the beach running paths. Here, the 2 lap course will give spectators opportunity to support and cheer on their friends and family as they cross the finish line.
Competitors will be able to enjoy a traditional Challenge post-race beer, recovery foods, music and entertainment in the Recovery Zone. This experience is billed as being unique to Challenge Family and events, and the organising team encourage all finishers to enjoy the postrace celebrations.
The top 10 pros at the Challenge Asia Pacific Championships will be awarded up to AU$30,000 in prize money. Age group athletes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in their respective age groups. All finishers will receive an Official Challenge Towel, a Challenge Stein Mug and a 2017 Asia Pacific Championships Finishers medal.
“Challenge Melbourne Half is easily one of my favourite Australian races,” said Todd Skipworth 2016 Challenge Melbourne male winner. “The Challenge/ SME 360 team who organise every facet of the race provide all the information you could need to know in the lead up, which helps settle any unwanted nerves and allow you to focus on performing.
“Every year the event manages to pull off something special and always surpasses my expectations. Great support team, inspiring competitors and crowds and an amazing team of volunteers all within a stone’s throw of Melbourne itself make this event truly epic! Already looking forward to lining up next year.”