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Pros Set To Compete In Inaugural Challenge Iceland

The race is the northernmost half-iron-distance triathlon in the world.

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A strong line-up of professional triathletes will be heading north to the picturesque country of Iceland for the inaugural half-iron-distance Challenge Iceland this weekend. The race is the northernmost half-iron-distance triathlon in the world, and while the location 30 minutes outside of the capital city of Rekjavík has served as a triathlon venue since 2014, this will be the first year it’s a part of the Challenge Family of races. It will serve as the first ever Nordic Championship, as the Challenge Family now has races in Denmark, Norway and Finland, in addition to Iceland.

The scenery will be stunning, as the 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run will all take place in the dramatic fjord landscape. The race starts in Hvalfjordur Bay (“Whale Bay”), a crystal-clear lake formed by a glacier. It’s unique to have an open-water swim in Iceland—most triathlons have pool swims. The one-loop bike course traverses rolling hills and short climbs on one of the most iconic bike routes in Iceland. The half-marathon takes place on another scenic country road with long hills.

Both the men’s and women’s races have strong line-ups. Topping the men’s list are three men who are all ITU speedsters-turned-half-Ironman champions. Australian Brad Kahlefeldt is a former Olympian and multiple Ironman 70.3 champion; Great Britain’s Tim Don is a three-time Olympian, four-time ITU world champion and has already added a few 70.3 wins to his impressive résumé in 2016; and American Kevin Collington, who’s had some high-profile 70.3 podium finishes.

On the women’s side, Canadian Heather Wurtele, the 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championship runner-up, will face tough competition from the Czech Republic’s Radka Vodickova, a former Olympian and multiple Ironman 70.3 champion; Great Britain’s Jodie Swallow, an Ironman champion and former 70.3 world champion; and Belgium’s Tine Deckers, a frequent long-course podium finisher.

RELATED: Challenge Family Announces Challenge Iceland

Pro men
Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS)
Tim Don (GBR)
Kevin Collington (USA)
Giulio Molinari (ITA)
Steve Rosinski (USA)
Allan Olesen (DEN)
Chris Fischer (DEN)
Brad Williams (USA)
Alex Reithmeier (AUS)
Justin Metzler (USA)
Greg Close (USA)
Marcus Hulthren (SWE)
Guilherme Campos (ITA)
Marcus Herbst (GER)

Pro women
Heather Wurtele (CAN)
Radka Vodickova (CZE)
Tine Deckers (BEL)
Jodie Swallow (GBR)
Carina Brechters (GER)
Alice Hector (GBR)

Find out more at Challengeiceland.is.