Challenge adds half-relay to triathlon

The theme for the 2014 Challenge Penticton might be choices, given the latest announcement from the race society, adding a half relay to the race offerings.

Participants now have the choice of signing up for the full length race or relay, the half distance course announced earlier this year, or the new half relay with teams of up to three people taking part in a 1.9-kilometre swim, 90-km cycle or 21.1-km run.

Diana Stirling, vice-chair of the Penticton Triathlon Race Society, said that right from the start of planning, they embraced the Challenge Family goal of appealing to athletes of all levels.

“With the half distance and the half relay, we are really looking at how to ignite that triathlete within everybody,” said Stirling.

“We have always had this passion for the full distance in Penticton, but  it starts somewhere.”

Stirling said the full distance relay, the half course Challenge and the new relay all offer different entry points for aspiring long distance triathletes.

“We had always heard that athletes wanted the half distance and the half relay,” said Stirling.

The focus for the new half relay will be on encouraging corporate participation, according to Stirling.

“It is a really great team-building opportunity for companies and to have their company represented, right down to their team jerseys,” she said.

“They can use it for team building, for corporate health and wellness, for raising funds for the charity of their choice, that is definitely the market for this.”

The races take place on Aug. 24 this year, the culmination of a week of events like family fun races, the Underpants Run and the annual Street Dance.

Challenge Family races have been growing in popularity in Europe since their launch of Challenge Roth in 2002, but the 2013 Challenge Penticton marked the race series entry into the North American market.

No longer the lone Challenge race in North America, Penticton is part of five Challenge races being in held in 2014 with more expected for 2015.

North America races include New Albany, Ohio, St Andrews, N.B., Atlantic City, N.J. and Ranchero Cordova, Calif.


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