Challenge Daytona, the inaugural triathlon race and endurance sports festival at Daytona International Speedway on December 7-9, 2018, is welcoming an all-star celebrity charity relay. The team, consisting of swimming great Charlie Lydecker, cyclist and NASCAR President Steve Phelps, and Paralympic triathlete Rudy Garcia-Tolson, will compete in the Challenge Daytona Middle Distance triathlon on behalf of The NASCAR Foundation.
As the anchor for the celebrity relay team, Garcia-Tolson brings significant athletic experience to bear on the half marathon around Daytona International Speedway. Perhaps best known for his swimming accolades, Garcia-Tolson is a four-time Paralympic athlete and multi-time Paralympic medallist in swimming.
Garcia-Tolson’s mission is to lead by example. His motto of ‘No Legs, No Limits’ conveys the physical challenge that he has overcome as a double above-the-knee amputee, and his desire to inspire others through his numerous achievements.
“The real disability in life is a negative attitude,” said Garcia-Tolson. “With passion and a positive outlook – plus a lot of hard work – the seemingly impossible becomes possible.”
Thus far, Garcia-Tolson’s medal tally includes two gold, two silver and one bronze (2004-2016). In 2012, Garcia-Tolson also competed in the 100m and 200m track events. Additionally, he holds numerous triathlon finishes to his credit and was one of six triathletes highlighted in the feature-length film ‘We Are Triathletes’, showcasing his efforts at the Challenge Family flagship event, Challenge Roth.
In June 2018, Garcia-Tolson competed in The Championship, Challenge Family’s Middle Distance championship event in Samorin, Slovakia.
“When I raced The Championship, I was blown away by the passion of the entire Challenge Family -the staff, the spectators, the volunteers, and the fellow athletes from around the world,” he continued. “It was an experience I’ll never forget, and I can’t wait to be a part of this new race in the US. It’s history in the making at Daytona International Speedway. I’m honoured to join Charlie and Steve, not only to tackle the Middle Distance tri, but to raise funds for The NASCAR Foundation to help children in need.”
Joining Garcia-Tolson in the relay are Charlie Lydecker and Steve Phelps.
A former collegiate swimmer at American University, Lydecker serves as CEO of Foundation Risk Partners, a company he founded two years ago and has developed into a major national insurance firm. Now 55, Lydecker is a four-time World Champion swimmer and still holds the Alcatraz Swim Classic men’s open category record from his victory in 2007.
As newly-appointed NASCAR President, Phelps’ professional focus is on fast cars. But the 54-year-old is also an avid and experienced road cyclist, routinely training with the likes of former Tour de France competitor George Hincapie.
Clad in Challenge Daytona-branded kits provided by Veneto Sportswear, the trio will race on behalf of The NASCAR Foundation. This leading charitable organization works to improve the lives of children who need it most in NASCAR communities through the Speediatrics Children’s Fund and the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.
The NASCAR Foundation makes children’s health and medical needs a top priority, ‘driven by the belief that every child should have a chance at a healthy life and deserves to get across the finish line’.
The Challenge Daytona triathlon race and endurance sports festival is scheduled for December 7-9, 2018 at Daytona International Speedway. The top six male and female finishers in each Middle Distance Triathlon age group will qualify for The Championship, to be held on June 2nd 2019 at the x-bionic sphere resort in Samorin, Slovakia.