According to Challenge Family, ‘hundreds of race participants have called The Championship Challenge Family‘s most iconic race.’ The Championship 2019 will take place next year on 2nd June in Samorin, Slovakia. The organising team note that there are multiple ways to qualify for the event.
- At every Challenge Family full and middle distance race, both the best five male and female pros qualify for The Championship.
- Winners from the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona as well as IM 70.3 World Championships, the ITU series, Super League Triathlon and Olympic Champions will also be invited to participate.
- Beside the pros, the best six male and female age groupers (from each category and each Challenge Family race) will qualify together with the best six best male, female and mixed relays.
After eight weeks of qualifying, Challenge Family will apply a ‘roll down system’. If the qualified athletes choose not to use their tickets to race The Championship, these will be offered to the next athlete (maximum roll down to top 12 athletes).
The Championship is positioned as Challenge Family’s Middle Distance World Championship and is one of the few races where the ’20m non-drafting rule’ for pros is applied.
One of last year’s participants at The Championship, Thomas Geiger, gave his feedback to the organising team. Challenge Family notes that Geiger isn’t ‘just’ a triathlete. ‘He finished every edition of Challenge Roth, so he clearly knows what he’s talking about.’
Geiger said “This race is so well organized. Everything is taken care of. The surroundings are amazing, the course is fast and the finish venue is stunning. In addition, you have the opportunity to race amongst the best athletes in the world. You are part of a race where history is written. And it’s so much more than ‘just’ racing. Most of the athletes come together in the same hotel (x-bionic sphere) and have the chance to meet in the days leading up to and after the race.”
Garth Barfoot from New Zealand, a Championship participant from 2017, is another notable athlete as he was 81 years old when he finished his race at Samorin. He said “I predict this World Championship will grow bigger and bigger. I’ve done a lot of World Championships, I guess I’ve done more than most people to be honest, but this course is as good as it gets. It’s achievable. Even I could do it.”
The initial Challenge Family qualification races for 2019 have already taken place, the first being Challenge Wanaka in New Zealand. There are a further 36 other Challenge Family races to qualify before the last opportunity at Challenge Heilbronn in May 2019.