Challenge Penticton has extended its programme for 2014 to include the Challenge Penticton Half, opening up the historic race to more triathletes keen to race on the iconic course but over a shorter distance.
“Penticton set the bar for long-course triathlon in Canada and the United States, and we’re thrilled to roll out a half distance triathlon in 2014 so a whole new group of athletes can take the Challenge,” said Paulette Rennie, Challenge Penticton President. “Athletes have been knocking our door down asking for more events to enjoy with their family and friends, and Challenge Penticton is delivering.”
The Challenge Penticton Half will run on the same day as the full distance race and be sanctioned under Tri BC regulations as well. The race course for the half will remain within the legendary single loop course athletes have come to know and expect. Course race maps can be found on the Challenge Penticton website.
The Challenge Penticton Half is one of many options for athletes, which also includes the popular full distance relay component. Relay teams sold out in 2013, in part due to the athlete-matching program – where individual athletes and incomplete teams can be matched to round out a relay team.
There are also a variety of activities planned for athletes of all ages – including a fun run for youth and families that can do 1K or 5K options. Athletes can also (almost) bare it all with the return of the Underpants Run. The entire week of fun begins with the Celebration of Sport parade down Lakeshore Drive on Wednesday, Aug. 20. As always, athletes will be the key focus of the week, celebrated during the Friday night pasta party and awards banquet.
“This year I saw Penticton was able to honour its passion for triathlon, and adding a Challenge Half to the legendary race is a fabulous way to build on their history of quality race experiences for athletes,” said Challenge Family CEO, Felix Walchshöfer. “Challenge Penticton will truly be a celebration of sport for the entire family in 2014.”
And those driven by competition will not be disappointed. The pro field is promising to be larger than ever, with a prize purse of more than 54,000 Euro ($75,000 CA) paying down to 10th place. Chris McCormack (AUS) has already vowed to return to Penticton, after the five-time International Triathlete of the Year, four time World Champion and ESPN’s World’s Fittest Man did not have his planned race in 2013.
“I loved my time in Penticton – it’s hard to beat the pride and passion this community has for triathlon,” said McCormack. “I’m very much looking forward to returning to once again race on this legendary course.”
Inaugural Challenge Penticton Canada champion Jeff Symonds started his pro career with half-distance triathlons before making the move to full distance in 2013. The Penticton product won his first iron-distance race in front of a home-town crowd.
“Without a doubt, Challenge Penticton Canada is a triathlete’s dream experience – it’s more than just a one-day achievement,” said Symonds. “I am proud of my home town celebrating the sport of triathlon and creating races for everyone – from the legendary full course to our relay and now introducing the Challenge Half.”
Challenge Penticton Half race entry is set at CA$350 plus tax and will be capped at 600 athletes. Early bird registration for the full distance is set at $599 plus tax for individual athletes and $825 plus tax for relay team entries. The early bird deadline is Dec. 31, 2013. The full distance race is limited to 1500 individuals and only 200 relay teams, with both expected to sell out.
Registration for both the full distance and the half distance races is now available online at www.challengepenticton.com.