Challenge? I Welcome Them Especially This One

[caption id="attachment_8931" align="alignright" width="300"]challenge - triathlon - united states Challenge Family Comes To The US In June 2014
Source: Challenge Roth[/caption] Challenge is a word that may strike fear in some and in others bring out the best that they have to offer.  For me the word Challenge represents another triathlon company, with a tremendous following and reputation for putting on outstanding events, coming into the United States.  You know about World Triathlon Corporation and Ironman but you may not know who Challenge Family is and that is about to change. Challenge Family puts on the world's largest triathlon in Roth, Germany every year.  You read that right......the world's largest triathlon.  On July 12 there were approximately 3,500 individual starters and 650 relay teams from over 60 nations.  The size of the field isn't the only BIG part of the Challenge Roth race.  According to their website more than 200,000 spectators were along the course.  That is just a tremendous amount of people cheering you on and throw in the fact that Challenge Roth is fast and you have the makings for an incredible event. Let us compare the size of 3,500 individuals at Challenge Roth to Ironman and other 140.6 races in the United States:
  • Ironman Texas 2013: 2055 finishers with a 17% DNF rate which would bring the total to 2,475 at the start line
  • Rev3 Cedar Point: 288 athletes in the 140.6 event
  • HITS Championship 2012: 58 finishers in the 140.6 event
[caption id="attachment_8935" align="alignright" width="276"]challenge - triathlon - united states - roth Challenge Roth. Imagine riding through a crowd like that.
Source: Challenge Roth[/caption] As you can see the 3,500 individual racers at Challenge Roth dwarfs all others including Ironman.  The reason that I am bringing up Challenge and their races is that they are here in North America and have been building the excitement for an announcement regarding their first United States race.  This race is to take place in 2014 in June in the Mid-Atlantic region. To date the following areas have been eliminated:
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Virginia Beach, VA
  • Baltimore, MD
  • New York City, NY
  • Hilton Head, SC
  • Behoboth Beach, MD
Not too much left when it comes to cities big enough to host the event but I am staking my claim to OBX in North Carolina.  There have been guesses that Ocean City, Maryland is another place to have it but in June I am not sure how the tourist faction would play there.  The same can be said for OBX but I am sticking to my guns. One of the main reasons that I am excited about this race coming to the United States in 2014 and hopefully beyond is that the Mid-Atlantic region in June is going to be hot and depending on where the race is held it will be flat as well.  If I could design a race course that fits my abilities those two ingredients would certainly be in the recipe. If you are wondering when the announcement will be made you will not have to wait much longer.  The race location will be announced on September 18.  I am not sure if there will be a rush to register like there is for Ironman branded triathlons but the cost could make it a race where people turn to, especially after missing out on Ironman Chattanooga.  The cost will be $575 for individuals and $625 for relays. With my commitment to Ironman Chattanooga I will not be able to race the inaugural event being held by Challenge Family but there is a 70.3 that is being raced in North America in July that might fit the race schedule.  Challenge has announced that they will be hosting their first half distance triathlon in North America to be held on July 6, 2014 in New Brunswick, Canada.  After speaking with Mandy of Caratunk Girl I have done a little research and it seems like the perfect location to host a race. [caption id="attachment_8932" align="alignright" width="300"]challenge - triathlon - united states - canada Challenge St. Andrews In July 2014
Source: Challenge Roth[/caption] The landscape of triathlon, especially long course, is changing and the penetration of Challenge Family into the United States is expediting that change.  I, for one, am excited to see Challenge enter the US market and provide long course triathletes with another option where the look and feel will be similar to that of Ironman with the number of expected participants and the pomp and circumstance that accompanies both race series.

Is Challenge USA A Race You Would Enter Considering Time And Location?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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