Chris McCormack Signs Three Year Deal to Race Challenge Cairns

Ironman World Champion Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack has signed an exclusive agreement with USM EVENTS; organisers of the inaugural Challenge Cairns that will see the two-time Ironman World Champion compete for the next three years (2011 – 2013).

Challenge Cairns will be the only Ironman race the 37 year old will race in Australia.

The multi faceted deal will also see McCormack as a global ambassador for the Challenge Cairns event.

USM EVENTS Executive Chairman Garth Prowd said the multi faceted deal also includes McCormack as a global ambassador for the Challenge Cairns event.

“We’ve had a long and very happy relationship with Macca over the past couple of decades as he has competed regularly at many of our events over the years, but unfortunately that had dropped off a little recently as he pursued his Ironman goals,” said Mr Prowd.

“As soon as we decided to launch the Challenge event in Cairns we also decided it was a good opportunity to revisit the relationship with Macca. Quite honestly I couldn’t think of anyone we would rather work with to help profile our newest event around the globe.

“Macca is not only one of the finest and most recognised athletes in the world, he’s also one of the people you can count on to do the right thing by the sport and everyone involved. We are simply thrilled to have him on board,” add Mr Prowd.

In announcing his commitment to race at Challenge Cairns McCormack said the decision was made easy as he wants to spend more time at home in Sydney with wife Emma Jane, daughters Talia 7 and Sienna 4. The McCormack’s are soon to extend their family with Emma Jane due to give birth in March.

“To be honest, the opportunity to race on Australian shores again is super exciting. My career has taken me all over the globe, but nothing is the same as the ability to race in front of family and friends in a race at home,” said McCormack.

“I have worked closely with USM over my entire career, and when I heard they had secured a Challenge event for Cairns, Australia, I saw it as a perfect opportunity to return home and support this event. Challenge is a phenomenal brand and USM is a perfect partner.

“Racing in Cairns will be a real treat. My wife and I had our honeymoon in Cairns 8 years ago and fell in love with the city. It will be great to return.

“The race will be a real challenge, the venue and backdrop breathtaking, and the race a real test of character and commitment. I cannot wait to be a part of it.”

Much has been written about this plucky Aussie but he tells things how they are and is not only one of our greatest sportsman but one of the smartest in how he executes his race plans. In a sport that he has owned for more than a decade, McCormack’s 2010 win in Hawaii has been hailed as the greatest performance in Ironman history and his masterpiece race. A battle won with brains and experience, not only did he declare he was, “Here to win”, he told everyone how he would do it, and did.

His desire to always race the best athletes, rather than results based assessments of his performances is paramount to his long list of achievements and why he has claimed two Ironman World Championships, Goodwill Games gold medallist, seven time World Cup Champion, ITU Olympic Distance Champion and 12 Ironman wins to name a few.

This year at Challenge Cairns McCormack will be joined by a host of other world class Australian’s looking to be the first name engraved on the trophy.

Fellow Sydneysider Pete Jacobs who claimed ninth behind McCormack in Kona last year is delighted to have such a prestigious race at home.

Port Macquarie’s Tim Berkel who won the inaugural Challenge Copenhagen in 2010, New Zealand’s Cameron Brown, one of the world’s most revered athletes has won a staggering nine iron distance events at home and has also signed up for Cairns. 

Australia’s Rebekah Keat is no stranger to Challenge events claiming the 2010 Challenge Copenhagen title and in 2009 a world record at Roth – 8 hours 39 minutes. The Gold Coast based Keat is passionate about doing well in Cairns this year.

Belinda Granger has the well earned title of veteran in this sport with 12 Ironman titles to her name in a career that has spanned two decades; husband Justin will also toe the start line.

One of the sports brightest talents and current Australian Ironman champion Carrie Lester has added her name to the list of starters.

Challenge Cairns promises to attract many more big names in long distance triathlon with its 100,000 Euro prize purse, the second richest in iron distance racing.

Challenge Cairns will be held on Sunday 5 June 2011 and organisers have designed a spectacular course for competitors.  The 3.8km swim will be held in the sheltered waters off Yorkeys Knob, 180km bike leg will wind its way along one of Australia’s most stunning coastal roads towards Port Douglas and a 42.2km run that includes the Cairns boardwalk before finishing in the heart of the city of Cairns.

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Karl Hayes

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.