For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
The inaugural Challenge Rancho Cordova will take place on the outskirts of California’s state capital of Sacramento this Sunday, Oct. 5.
Read the preview from Challenge Family below:
The half-iron distance Challenge Rancho Cordova will start with a 1.2-mile swim that will take place at the Nimbus Dam and is fed by the American River with headwaters high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This is one of the cleanest bodies of water available for any triathlon swim in California and is calm and flat in all weather conditions. The single loop point-to-point 56-mile bike course offers glimpses of the Sierra Nevada Mountains while traversing farmland, vineyards, wooded hills and the historic Mather Field Air Force Base. The course has an overall elevation gain of 1200 feet. The 13.1-mile flat run course on city streets and trails starts and finishes in downtown Rancho Cordova.
Located 12 miles east of the California’s state capitol, Sacramento, Rancho Cordova and surrounding communities are rich in the history of California’s Gold Rush including the first 12 miles of railroad in California. In more modern times the City hosted a thriving military base and now is home to large aerospace, technology, healthcare and other corporations.
Challenge Family’s reputation for creating memorable race experiences has drawn one of the deepest Professional fields being hosted on U.S. soil in all of 2014. On the start list we have Ironman winners as well as short course specialists. The race promises to be exciting and unpredictable with several athletes in both the men’s and women’s races coming from collegiate swimming backgrounds as well as people that are famous for being able to run down the best in the sport! It will be a dynamic battle from start to finish and will no doubt be an exciting rice to follow!
The women’s field boasts several athletes with strong international results. Jillian Petersen made the shift to longer events recently after many successes on the ITU circuit and has already added great success with a third at Challenge New Albany. Charisa Wernick is on a roll with a stellar season including a second at Challenge St. Andrews and top-10 finish at Challenge Walchsee and Challenge Full Weymouth. Emma-Kate Lidbury has placed top-10 twice at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Kate Bevilaqua finished third at the inaugural Challenge Taiwan and has numerous victories and podiums at the Half and Full distance. Other standouts in the field are Emily Cocks, Lauren Brandon, Jennifer Luebke and Jessica Smith.
On the men’s side, Jesse Thomas is one of the best runners in the sport and with four-consecutive wins at Wildflower Long Course clearly has the strength to face any competitor in the world. Todd Skipworth, Guy Crawford and Leon Griffin all have a handful of podiums from across the globe at the half and full distances. Joe Umphenour is another athlete with a long history of success on the ITU circuit and longtime member of the USAT National Team. There are also a number of athletes in the field who have the talent to break onto the podium including Matt Lieto, Andrew Bauer, Grant Burkwash, Jesse Vondracek and Pedro Gomez.
With a pro field of over 50 athletes, there are many others who will be in the mix on race day promising an exciting race. The press conference that will be live-streamed on Facebook on Saturday, Oct. 4 with a panel of top contenders live updates will be provided throughout race day at Challlenge-ranchocordova.com.