Finland is the latest destination for the international Challenge triathlon series – as the inaugural Challenge Turku is gearing up to take place in the historic city of Turku, the old capital of Finland, this August.
Previously the Turku Triathlon Weekend in 2015, and now under the Challenge Family banner. In 2016, Challenge Turku is being positioned as ‘a whole weekend experience filled with triathlon’. Saturday 13 August will host junior and short distance races and the Challenge Turku Half Distance race takes place on Sunday 14 August.
It’s been a busy week for Challenge Family and its Denmark-based partner RaceMakers. The new event in Finland joins a raft of new sponsors for the Nordic region, including apparel and wetsuit specialist 2XU; logistics firm Greencarrier Group; and international clothing brand JACK & JONES.
The 1.9K swim at the new Challenge Turku is located at the river mouth at Turku where the whole swim segment can be followed by spectators from the riverbanks. The river hosts many historic ships, and swimming has been described like ‘a tour in an open-air museum’.
The 90K bike segment will take the athletes across the city to the highway, where the race can also be followed from the many bridges crossing the route. The 21K run course takes place along the riverbanks through the city centre. Here, the organizers add that ‘the whole community will be cheering and supporting the athletes before finishing in Varvintori Square, the epicentre of cultural and sporting events on the river front.’
“Joining Challenge Family is a great honour and achievement for the race that saw its introduction for first time in 2015. The race weekend exceeded all our expectations and taking this step towards the Challenge Family is a natural continuation for us,” said Challenge Turku Race Director Heikki Jaatinen.
Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik, said Challenge Turku was a welcome addition to the global triathlon series. “We now have a really strong presence in Scandinavia with races in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Denmark. Turku’s rich cultural history and astonishing natural beauty makes it a great place to race and holiday and we’re excited to have Challenge Turku as part of the Challenge Family.”
Timo Bracht, one of Europe’s triathlon icons commented on the race, “Challenge Turku will be a real game changer in the Finnish triathlon scene. I raced half distance in Turku last year and I was thrilled about the course and the atmosphere. I was with my family a full week in the area and we enjoyed it really well.”
He added, “Something unique and hard to describe is the hospitality and the level of organization. You have to discover it yourself! See you in Turku! I will be racing with you!”
Claus Vesterby, CEO of RaceMakers, the company behind all Nordic Challenge Family events said, “It is with great pleasure that we can be a part of such an extraordinary race in Finland and with our experience from Challenge Denmark we have great expectations for the Finnish race.”