More than 1500 athletes made history at the inaugural Challenge Daytona Powered by the Y Triathlon Festival at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend. Clear skies and sunshine dominated Saturday’s Sprint Distance, Junior Challenge, and 5K/10K events, while late morning thunderstorms necessitated safety-related modifications to Sunday’s Middle Distance professional and amateur events.
The professional race, originally slated as a Middle Distance triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run), was delayed until 12:45 p.m. and altered to cover a 1-mile swim, 37.5-mile bike, and 8.2-mile run. The shorter distance event took place entirely within Daytona International Speedway, offering spectators—including age-group athletes who were finished with the morning’s modified amateur race—unprecedented access to view the pros in the heat of competition. The bike course was of particular note, consisting of 15 laps around the iconic motorsports track.
In the professional race, it was Belgium’s Pieter Heemeryck and the United States’ Sarah Haskins who took the victories.
“I’ve been racing for 15 years and this is truly one of the coolest experiences I have ever had racing,” Haskins said of the experience. “The venue, the organizers, the volunteers, the fans—just incredible. And it turned out to be a beautiful day!”