Challenge Family has announced the inaugural Challenge Davos Festival in Switzerland as its latest addition to ‘the fastest growing global triathlon series’. Taking place on 16-17 September 2017, Challenge Davos Festival will combine the internationally orientated middle distance race of Challenge Family with Switzerland’s national triathlon series ‘Tri Circuit’, which offers a range of short distance events for athletes for all abilities.
In addition, with the aim to attract more endurance athletes, the festival will also include a time trial by bike, roller-skis, inline-skates and run.
Zibi Szlufcik, CEO Challenge Family and Co-Organiser of Challenge Davos Festival, said “Challenge Famiy is extremely proud and happy to finally arrive in Switzerland. The amazing city of Davos will be host to the annual Challenge Davos Festival with spectacular courses, drinking water-quality swim and breath-taking surroundings. This all-encompassing addition to the Challenge Family global schedule with qualification slots for The Championship [in Slovakia] will fulfil all expectations for athletes and spectators alike.”
Perched 1,560 metres above sea level, situated in the heart of the Swiss canton of Graubünden, Davos is the highest town in Europe. Challenge Family notes that each course at the event has been ‘meticulously designed around the high altitude experience to ensure that all athletes are able to compete in front of a stunning backdrop during all points in the race’. In addition, road closures will allow all triathletes to ‘race free from traffic offering the best safety conditions on the Alpine roads throughout the weekend’.
Sven Riederer, four-time triathlon Olympic participant and bronze medallist in Athens 2004, founder of MooveMee, and Co-Organiser of Challenge Davos Festival, said “I am looking forward to establishing this exciting new triathlon destination together with Challenge Family and the local organisation team. In Davos, we can offer unique courses, which you won’t find elsewhere. The wonderful mountain landscape is a welcome contrast to other triathlon events.”
Saturday 16 September: Olympic Distance Triathlon
Competitors will swim 1.5km in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Davos before mounting their bikes to take on a 24km bike course, which will lead athletes up to the high mountain pass Flüelapass. Although the bike course is shorter in distance than in other Olympic distance triathlons, given the terrain, the time needed to complete this part of the race will approximately be the same as an Olympic distance triathlon elsewhere.
Athletes will complete their triathlon by running along the shores of Lake Davos before heading towards the finish line.
Sunday 17 September: The Challenge Family Middle Distance
Regarded as the centrepiece of the event program, the middle distance race will start at the edge of Lake Davos where athletes will dive into a refreshing 1.9km swim. After completing the swim, athletes will mount their bikes and tackle the demanding – yet equally as spectacular – 50km cycle. Each competitor will cover 1,770 meters in altitude, which will include conquering the high mountain pass, Flüelapass, from each side.
The final third of the race will take athletes on a 21.1km run around the picturesque lake and towards the finish area.
Ernst Bromeis, a clean water advocate and ‘water ambassador’, and a former Swiss Olympic Triathlon coach, said “It’s a dream to organise an event at the Flüelapass. It’s a unique experience to enjoy the scenery in silence and to hear only your own breathing rhythm, the wind and the flowing water. I would like to thank the authorities and the Destination Davos-Klosters for [their] great cooperation.”
Challenge Family has put forward five reasons to race Davos:
- Spectacular courses set around breath-taking mountain scenery, offering a safe challenge on completely traffic-free roads.
- No drafting issues due to a challenge route up to Flüelapass. Don’t be fooled by the shorter distance of the biking leg – you will have enough time to prove your abilities.
- Hydrate while swimming: the drinking water quality of Lake Davos will let you have crystal-clear focus on your performance while spectators can follow your swimming on the shores right next to you.
- Davos offers high-quality holiday time; a diversity of sport, cultural and nightlife possibilities, many of them free of charge for overnight guests.
- Innovative side-events like time trials or kids running races keep your friends and family active and occupied during preparation for your perfect race.
“We are excited to share the ‘high altitude’ experience with athletes, media and partners,” concluded Zibi Szlufcik. “A very experienced team of local authorities and Tri Circuit leaders will be supported by the team at Challenge Family to provide nothing short of excellence to host athletes from all over the world.”
Challenge Family has 44 full and half distance events in 26 different countries. Focusing on delivering ‘the race of a lifetime to athletes of all ages and abilities’, Challenge Family races aim to provide ‘memorable experiences that capture all the excitement and emotions of this inspirational sport’.