The Challenge Family today announced that it will host its first North American race with the introduction of Challenge Penticton. The race will replace Ironman Canada, which has taken place in Penticton for 30 years.
See the complete press release below. Check back to Triathlete.com for a complete report from Triathlete editor-at-large Holly Bennett, who is in Penticton to cover the event.
Challenge Family today announced the expansion of its global series of long distance triathlons into North America with the launch of Challenge Penticton in Canada.
Challenge Penticton joins the Challenge Family‘s series of races that includes the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth (Germany), described by world record holder, Chrissie Wellington, as “simply the best triathlon race in the world.”
Challenge Family CEO Felix Walchshöfer said bringing together two of triathlon’s oldest and most respected races reinforced the all-important legacy of the sport.
“The towns of Roth in Germany and Penticton in Canada have both grown remarkable races since the earliest days of the sport. To have them together in one family, both in the hands of their respective communities, ensures this legacy will continue for years to come,” said Mr Walchshöfer.
The launch of Challenge Penticton sees it as the exclusive long distance Challenge race in Canada, and marks the long-distance race returning to its roots with community support and ownership.
“Challenge Penticton will be community driven and designed to benefit residents and athletes alike,” said Mayor Dan Ashton. “The event will involve a week-long festival that provides a unique experience for athletes, families and spectators, while showcasing our warm and welcoming city. We are happy to be joining the Challenge Family.”
Challenge Penticton will also feature one North America’s most revered triathletes as event ambassador. Three-times world champion and four-times Canadian Triathlete of the Year, Peter Reid, said he was looking forward to building the legacy of the sport with Challenge Family at a race with which he has strong ties.
“It was always my biggest dream to end my career with a race at Penticton but sadly, it just didn’t work out. I’ve watched the race many times with friends since and am looking forward to being a part of this new era of triathlon in Penticton,” he said. “The Challenge Family philosophy of putting the athletes first and giving back to communities is something I strongly endorse and I’m thrilled to come back into the triathlon race scene and support the future of the sport.”
Taking place on August 25, 2013, Challenge Penticton will bring a new race experience to a time-honored course. Challenge is internationally renowned for its focus on exceeding athlete expectations and delivery high quality races. Athletes will also benefit from the inclusion of relay teams, festival events and the unique Challenge Family atmosphere popular throughout Europe and beyond.
With an opening registration fee of CA$675 including taxes, Challenge Penticton will offer value to athletes of all abilities and backgrounds with an enhanced experience and the race field will be restructured to include wave starts, which will allow the addition of relay teams for the first time in Penticton. In addition, professional triathletes will benefit from a 50,000 Euro (CA$61,500) prize purse paying down to 10th place.
“Growing the sport of triathlon is one of Challenge Family’s key objectives. It’s important to us that entry fee levels are set to include as many athletes as possible while the relay teams offer an achievable entry into the sport we are all so passionate about,” said Mr Walchshöfer. “Over the years we’ve seen many triathletes who started out doing one discipline in the teams cross the finish line as an individual, and we’re very proud to play a part in the athletes’ journey.”
The Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons features 12 races throughout Europe, North America and Australasia. Challenge Family races are known for their excellent athlete race experience and commitment to the communities in which they take place.
RELATED – Dispatch: Challenge World