On April 15, 2018 Challenge Roma in Italy (formerly Challenge Roma 753) will kick off its second edition, and the 2018 European events season for Challenge Family. After its debut in 2017, the Italian capital will again be the setting – with events this year oriented around the Rome Marina ‘Porto Turistico di Roma’.
The middle distance event – 1.9 km swim, 90 km bike, 21 km run – offers up a chance for triathletes from all over the world to test their early season fitness during Rome’s spring season.
Porto Turistico di Roma will also be the home of the Expo Village, which will host side activities for the entire weekend starting from Friday 13th, with the involvement of schools and local institutions, and then on Saturday with the Sprint Triathlon, the Paratriathlon Super Sprint, the second stage of the Italian Championship, before the main Challenge Roma race on Sunday.
For its second edition Challenge Roma has a new location: the Porto Turistico di Roma. As Rome extends its borders to the coasts of the Tyrrhenian Sea its marina is a central point for many activities, thanks to good sea-water quality. Completely renovated, the marina is close to Leonardo Da Vinci Fiumicino Airport, and offers a variety of public facilities: restaurants, shops, children’s spaces and a ‘long, romantic walk through piers and boats.’ There are also facilities for athletes, such as dressing rooms and showers.
Attracted by the charm of the Italian capital and by the event’s timing, which places the race as the first test of the 2018 Challenge Family season in Europe, the organisers report that ‘lots of pros are keen to join Challenge Roma’s second edition and the fair weather of the Roman spring.’ Participating athletes include: the Slovenian Jaroslav Kovacic, 34, Britain’s Will Clarke, 33, and Germany’s Andreas Dreitz, 34.
Among the women, all eyes will be on the Italian medium-distance champion Marta Bernardi, 28. Two skilled athletes will challenge her: the Dutch athlete Yvonne Van Vlerken, 39, Britain’s Caroline Livesey, 38, and Sofie Goos, 28, from Belgium.
The long weekend of Challenge Roma will host, on Saturday April 2, at 14:00 CET, the second stage of the Italian Paratriathlon championship on the Super Sprint distance (0.4km of swimming, 10km of cycling, 2.5km of running).
Also on Saturday, a Sprint distance race will be staged (750m swimming, 20km cycling and 5km running) open to all members of the Italian and international triathlon federations. The route will develop almost entirely within the Port of Rome, with the exception of the cycling stage that will utilise the seafront in a 5km circuit to be repeated four times. The organisers note that this stretch is completely flat.
All race action starts on Friday, April 13th, from 10:00 with the Duathlon Schools promotional event, dedicated to school children who will compete in the area inside the marina.
From 14:00, the afternoon will be dedicated to the public with the opening of the Triathlon Expo, where brands and technical equipment will be on show. Saturday, April 14th starts off with the Challenge Sprint triathlon at 10.30, followed by the Paratriathlon Super Sprint at 14:00, valid as the second stage of the Italian Championship series and then finishing at 16:00 with the Challenge Duathlon Kids dedicated to kids and youngsters of Lazio’s triathlon schools. Also, in the afternoon, starting at 16:30, the Challenge Roma main event briefing (in Italian and English) will give a background for athletes participating in the main event of the following day.
Sunday, April 15 will be the day of Challenge Roma, which starts at 13:15. From 17:15, the leading athletes’ arrival will be expected, and the overall and category winners will be ‘rewarded immediately with the Flower Ceremony, a characteristic symbol of Challenge Family.’
The long triathlon weekend will close up in the evening with the Award Ceremony and live music ‘arewell party’ starting at 21:00.
Thanks to a combined effort with local authorities, the Challenge Roma organising team adds that it is able to offer athletes a ‘more scenic and fascinating bike course.’ Although the new route will keep the same technical feature of a smooth and fast track, the modified course will offer participants seaside views revealing Lazio’s coastline.
There are also some changes in the run course, which will be between the internal panoramic area of the marina and the Duca degli Abruzzi seafront, along the cycle path. Here, athletes will run on a circuit of 4.2 km (to be repeated 5 times) overlooking the sea, ‘completely flat and totally away from traffic’.