Challenge Melbourne will have a fresh feel this year with a new venue and added status as the long course triathlon event gets set to host the 2017 Challenge Family Asia Pacific Championships. Set to take place in St Kilda, Australia, on 9 April, the organising team add that Challenge Melbourne ‘will be a jam-packed event with awesome new additions including a family friendly fun day on Saturday 8 April, early bike check in to help make race day run smoothly and an event village expo and food festival.’
Defending Champion Todd Skipworth will be competing for the title, alongside various other professional athletes. Two time Asia Pacific & Australian Triathlon Champion, Tim Reed is set to contest the top prize of $30,000 & Asia Pacific Champion title on the day, saying that he is looking forward to competing in Melbourne. “Several factors got me very interested in racing Challenge Melbourne,” said Tim Reed. “A 20m draft rule, a great professional field and hanging out in Melbourne, the cultural capital of Australia is enough to make the decision to race very easy.”
Tim Berkel will also be there, as a champion triathlete he hopes the Asia Pacific title will heat up the competition. “I’m really excited to be heading back to Challenge Melbourne,” Berkel said.” New course, new venue and now with the Challenge Asia Pacific title up for grabs it’s going to attract a world class field.”
With a new course based at Catani Gardens St Kilda, Melbourne is positioned as an obvious choice for athletes. The new location will allow for easy spectating as well as views and a ‘perfect area to relax before and after the race’.
As the current ‘most liveable city in the world’ as voted by The Age and The Economist newspapers for five years running, Melbourne boasts cafés, restaurants and entertainment venues within walking distance from the event village.
With the 1.9km swim course set to be held at St Kilda Beach, the rectangular shape swim has four turns which will lead competitors into the transition area in the heart of Catani Gardens. The 90km Beach Road ride is one of the most popular cycling areas in Melbourne, and spans from St Kilda to Black Rock. The 21.1km run course will see participating triathletes run along the beach path turning at the Elwood Boat Ramp and then head back to Catani Gardens.
As Australia’s only major inner city half distance triathlon, the General Manager of event organising firm SME360, Dallas O’Brien, said that Challenge Melbourne promises to bring hot competition to the Catani Gardens foreshore. “Challenge Melbourne is shaping up to be the biggest and most exciting triathlon of the season with a fantastic response from our top triathletes around the country, and both interstate and international age-groupers committing to the event.
“While the Challenge brand of triathlon goes from strength to strength around the world, we look forward to presenting the Aussie version in Melbourne, the sporting capital of the world, and the iconic venue of Catani Gardens, St. Kilda.”