This weekend sees one of the biggest paydays in the sport of triathlon take place at Des Moines, Iowa, USA. 60 of the fastest Olympic distance triathletes around will be racing for one of their biggest pay days of the year. Unlike other events Hy-Vee pays down to the last elite spot. If you are 30th male or female across the line you will still pocket $3000USD. Although first prize of $151,500 is what a handful of the pros will be eying this weekend. In addition there is another $51,500 up for grabs in $5150 chunks for leading the race in one of the 10 laps covering the entire race.
The Australians are up against some of the biggest names but rather than spend time looking at the international pros we would rather look at the Aussies racing and check out who they are and how they have been performing. The full start list is below the preview along with the prize purse breakdown.
The obvious curve ball in the men’s race this year is the appearance of Alistair Brownlee and Javier Gomez in the starting line up. These two would have to be the favourites with Brownlee slightly in front of Gomez. The great thing about this race is the non-drafting format. Everyone will be watching to see what these two will do. And like many big races often someone paying longer odds wins.
One difference this year is the Olympic triathletes who are racing this weekend will still be in the form of their career after peaking a few weeks ago. In the women’s race it is hard to go past Nicola Spirig, Lisa Norden, Sarah Groff and Kelly Williamson. But as we have seen many times Hy-Vee is hard to pick. Melissa Hauschildt could upset if she does not lose too much time in the swim. There is also Laura Bennett and Sarah Haskins who will also be hoping for a large slice of the cash on offer.
In all there are 10 Australians racing at Hy-Vee this weekend. Some are racing Hy-Vee for the first time and others are well versed in this race. Australians have won four titles in the last five years. Last year Greg Bennett won along with Sweden’s Olympic Silver medalist Lisa Norden. The three years prior to Norden’s win saw Emma Moffatt win in 2009 with Emma Snowsill winning in 2008 and 2010. In 2007 Laura Bennett won. There has been a strong Australian connection in the last five female titles.
The last three men’s titles have been won by three very experienced triathletes. Tim Don won in 2010 with Simon Whitfield winning in 2009. Rasmus Henning won the previous two titles.
Last year young Australian Josh Amberger pocketed around $20,000 for leading the swim in every lap plus his finishing position payment. Amberger almost got the first bike ‘preme’ but was beaten to it by Ben Collins who is one of the stronger bike riders in triathlon. Unlucky last year was Tim Reed who headed in to this race with some great form and was looking for a good payday. In the week leading up to Hy-Vee Reed was struck down with a bad case of the flu and spent most of it in bed. Still he raced and finished a solid 23rd.
Reed has had a very successful year in 2012 and is one of the quicker runners going. He can ride very quick. Like Hauschildt, Reed will be trying to minimise the time lost to the fastest swimmers. Tim recently won Yeppoon 70.3 with a very comfortably paced half marathon. His other recent results have been equally impressive. After puncturing at Racine and opting to run home after the bike he ended up running himself in to 3rd overall. A 3rd at New Orleans 5150 and a 4th at Boise 70.3 also showed the potential. Earlier in the year Reed won the Australian Long Course title ahead of Joe Gambles and then placed 3rd at the hastily arranged New Zealand 70.3. Watch for Reed to be in the top ten this weekend if everything goes his way.
Paul Matthews finished 4th overall last year and pocketed $25,000. Matthews races a number of the 5150 series races in the US performing consistently. Matthews spent a lot of 2011 racing against Tim Reed with some very close finishes.
Greg Bennett needs no introduction and will be as strong as ever. Bennett has stepped in to the world of long course triathlons this year and has had some great results including a 2nd at the Hawaii 70.3 to Lance Armstrong.
Chris McCormack raced at Hy-Vee last year and finished 10th overall. One would suggest that he will be faster this year however he has now started his Kona preparation and it will remain to be seen whether this has an effect on him. It shouldn’t and he will be very strong. He should be better positioned out of the water and the non-drafting format will be right up his ally.
James Seear is enjoying racing outside the ‘system’ and has been performing strongly at various 5150 and Toyota Cup races this year with a 2nd at the Liverpool 5150 and a number of other strong top 10 performances.
Josh Amberger will be much stronger this year. All year it has been about Hy-Vee. His run has improved and he is stronger on the bike. With his killer swim Amberger will be one to watch.
Finally in the men’s race for Australia is Michael Fox. Fox went over to the US this year to experience doing triathlon as a full time pro without the hindrance of his normal full time job as a teacher. This will be his biggest race ever and he is looking forward to testing himself against one of the fastest triathlon fields assembled. Fox has had a few strong results in the US with a 4th at Kansas and 5th at New Orleans 5150 races. His best result is arguably his 6th at the Boulder 5150 against a very strong field.
Fox has a killer swim but at Boulder he missed the front pack by around 30sec coming out of the water with Matt Reed. He had to work hard on the bike which impacted his run. Unlike Boulder Fox is now in possession of a speed suit which should assist him even more in the swim.
The Australian women racing this weekend are Annabel Luxford, Lisa Marangon and reigning 70.3 world champ Melissa Hauschildt (nee Rollison). This is the perfect short course race for Hauschildt as her strong bike / run combo suits non-drafting. Hauschildt’s only weakness is her swim. Unlike many of the other pros she has had to learn to swim from scratch over the last two years.
For those that are not familiar with Hauschildt in 2006 she won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in the 3000m stepplechase. Hauschildt is one of the most exciting runners in the game. She regularly runs faster than most of the guys in a race. Last year a win at Noosa against some fast ITU girls showed that even over the shorter distance she has the bike / run fire power to beat the best. The only issue this year is a foot injury that has meant there is a lot of miles missing from her run training. In saying this with a couple of short runs Hasuchildt ran the equal fastest female run at the Boulder 70.3 a few weeks ago.
Coming off one of her most satisfying wins in her career is Lisa Marangon. Marangon has always showed a lot of promise and with a few good results such as a win at the WA Half Ironman in 2010 and a number of other top podium finishes it wasn’t until her win at Yeppoon two weeks ago that she finally felt like the athlete she knew she could be. Marangon has adopted a new bike training program which almost exclusively takes place at the Athlete Lab in Sydney. In addition a new bike fit by Ben Hammond in Sydney has also aided her run off the bike. Like a number of the other pros racing this weekend next weekend we will see them backing up next weekend at the 70.3 world champs in Las Vegas.
Annabel Luxford has one of the most impressive triathlon resumes going around. 1st in the 2005 ITU World Cup Series, 4 ITU World cup wins, 16 podiums and the list goes on. This year Luxford has had a 1st, three 2nds and a 4th in Olympic distance racing. She was 2nd at Escape from Alcatraz, 1st at Tri Columbia 5150 amongst the results.
For Luxford this year has been about getting herself back in to the shape we all know her for. “This year is about getting used to the non drafting style of racing & building a base again after 4 years of injuries that plagued my ITU career. Like everyone I’m really excited about racing at Hy-Vee but is just another race. It’s an amazing race in regards to organisation and how well Hy-Vee look after you.”
|Amanda Felder Derkacs||USA|
|PLACE||M & F|
|5150 Lap Bonus (Men)||$51,500|
|5150 Lap Bonus (Women)||$51,500|
Challenge Roma – The First Big European Challenge Event In 2018
On April 15, 2018, will be Challenge Roma’s second edition. After its debut in 2017, the Italian capital will be again protagonist of great international triathlon in a new location, the Rome Marina “Porto Turistico di Roma”, with new distances: 1.9 km swimming, 90 km bike, 21 km running. A middle distance like Challenge’s primary races, Challenge Roma will be the first European race of the year too. A chance for triathletes from all over the world to test their athletic preparation, in a very fast and beautiful path, in Roman Spring beginning.
Porto Turistico di Roma will also be home of the Expo Village, which will host numerous side activities for the entire weekend starting from Friday. The involvement of schools and local institutions, and then go on Saturday with the Sprint triathlon, the paratriathlon super sprint, valid as the second stage of the Italian Championship, before the Challenge Roma race on Sunday morning.
Challenge Roma Location
For the second edition of Challenge Roma, a new location was selected: the Porto Turistico di Roma. In fact, Rome extends its borders to the coasts of the Tyrrhenian sea, and its marina is a central point for many activities, thanks to the excellent sea-water quality. Completely renovated, the Marina is close to the Leonardo Da Vinci Fiumicino Airport, and offers a lot of public services including restaurants, shops, children spaces and a long, romantic walk through piers and boats.
What will kick off at the Challenge Roma will be a high-level parterre. Attracted by the charm of the capital and by the calendar that places the race as the first test of the 2018 season in Europe, lots of pro’s are keen to join Challenge Roma second edition and the fair weather of spring.
Among others, the Slovenian Jaroslav Kovacic, 34, the British Will Clarke, 33, the German Andreas Dreitz, 34 years winner of Cervia (Italy) full distance. But they will not be the only ones. Also, the Germans Alexander Schilling, 30, and Michael Goehner, 38, the Spaniards Inaki Baldellou, 29, and Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, 30, the Russian Georgii Kaurov, 25, and the young British George Goodwin, 22 years.
Among the women, all eyes will be on the Italian medium-distance champion Marta Bernardi, 28 years old and the new name of the international triathlon. Two skilled athletes will challenge her: the Dutch Yvonne Van Vlerken, 39, and Britain’s Caroline Livesey, 38 years old, and Sofie Goos, 28 years old from Belgium. In addition to them also the Hungarian Gabriella Zelinka, 27, the young Russian Mariia Bibicheva, just 21 years old, the Czech Simona Krivankova, 35, the two Belgian Sofie Goos and Karen Steurs, respectively 37 and 38 years, and the Croatian Sonja Skevin, 23 years old.
Paratriathlon, 2nd Stage Italian Championship
The long weekend of the Challenge Roma will host Saturday, April 2 at 2 pm the 2nd stage of the Italian Paratriathlon championship on the Super Sprint distance (0.4 km of swimming, 10 km of bike, 2.5 km of running). At the start over 40 athletes for a parterre of the highest level led by the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze Giovanni Achenza in addition to Italian champion pts5 Gianfilippo Mirabile and multi-champion champion Veronica Plebani.
Challenge Roma Sprint
Saturday, April 14 will be staged, starting at 10.30, also a race Sprint distance (750 m swimming, 20 km cycling and 5 km running) open to all members of the Italian and International Triathlon Federation. The route will develop almost entirely within the Port of Rome, with the exception of the cycling village that will “stretch” on the seafront in a 5 km circuit to be repeated 4 times. The stretch is completely flat.
It all starts on Friday, April 13, from 10 am with the Duathlon School promotional event, dedicated to schools: children will compete in the area inside the Marina.
From 2 pm, the afternoon will be dedicated to the public with the opening of the Triathlon Expo, where brands and technical equipment dedicated to the discipline will be exhibited. Saturday, April 14th we start with Challenge Sprint triathlon at 10.30 a.m., followed by Paratriathlon Super Sprint at 2 p.m., valid as the second stage of the Italian Championship series and then finish at 4 p.m. with the Challenge Duathlon Kids dedicated to kids and youngsters of Lazio’s triathlon schools. Also, in the afternoon, starting at 4.30 p.m., Challenge Roma briefing (Ita and Eng) in view of the main event of the following day.
Sunday, April 15 will be the day of the Challenge Roma, which starts at 13.15 am. From 5.15 it is expected the leading athletes arrival who will be rewarded immediately with the Flower Ceremony, a characteristic symbol of CHALLENGEFAMILY.
The long triathlon weekend will close up in the evening with the Award Ceremony and live music “farewell party” starting at 9 pm.
Challenge Family Introduces A World Ranking For Pro-athletes
Challenge has decided to expand the successful European Money Ranking in 2018 to a so-called Challenge World Ranking. This means that professional Athletes can earn points not only in European races but also in races outside of Europe. The earned points count up in a final ranking at the end of the season with a total bonus prize purse of $165.000.
With this World Ranking, Challenge rewards the pro-athletes racing the series and results in having the best professionals racing head-to-head in the Challenge races. “We strongly believe that the professional Athletes are the ambassadors of our wonderful sport. We have seen strong racing and amazing winners in the European Ranking the last two years. We are happy to extend this to a worldwide ranking first time in 2018 ” says Zibi Szlufcik, CEO of Challenge.
The first races to be added to the ranking in the 2018 season are Challenge Taiwan, Challenge Sangil (Mexico), Challenge Aasia-Pacific Championship (Taiwan) and Challenge Daytona (USA). All European races remain part of the ranking.
The total prize purse $165.000 for the worldwide ranking will pay 5 deep for both male and female athletes. The overall winners will take home $30.000. Second place will earn $20.000, third and fourth place $15.000 and $12.000 consecutively and fifth place winner will pocket $5.000. In the event of a tie, the prize money will be averaged between the two athletes and corresponding places.
The points system that leads to the final ranking will remain the same as last year’s European ranking. This is based on points earned by the athlete’s six best Challenge race results of the season, of which no more than two can be long distance races, which earn double points. The Championship is also included in the World Ranking, with more points to collect then regular middle distance races.
Laura Siddall Looks To Go Back To Back at Ironman Australia
The 2018 season has kicked off with a bang for Laura Siddall breaking through to pick up the Ironman New Zealand title in March, and she is looking to continue her winning form when she heads to Port Macquarie (6 May) to defend her Ironman Australia crown.
Siddall, who represented England as a junior in 400m hurdles and netball, began her love affair with triathlon while she was working in Australia on a two-year contract with Shell Oil and she was soon on a rampage loading her trophy case full of age-group championships across the globe over all distances.
Siddall eventually made the leap the pro ranks and continued her love affair with Port Macquarie that started with her first half distance triathlon at Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie back in October 2009.
“Ironman Australia will be my last race in the Southern Hemisphere before I migrate north for the European summer. It is an important race for me, as I won last year, so want to come back and show my support for the event and the people of Port Macquarie.”
“It is also important to me because the race has so much history and was very much part of my early days in the sport. It is pretty much a local race where I started triathlon, so many friends will be participating and competing as well, over both the full and 70.3 distances.”
“While Ironman Australia may be an early season race for many, it will be my fourth race of 2018 and second Ironman, having won Ironman New Zealand in March. Expectations as always to continue the build in my training and race performance globally as an athlete.”
“Ironman Australia is very much part of that development and learning. It’s always about transferring the training into the race and executing a performance that I can be proud of and pushes myself to the limits. If I focus on that, then hopefully I am somewhere in the right place at the end of the day.”
“Ironman Australia is one of the historic races around the world. It truly comes alive with the amazing support in Port Macquarie. The course is tough and gritty but has wonderful crowd encouragement. With the likes of Matthew Flinders Hill on the bike, the tri club alley on the run, it really does make the races pretty special and a brilliant atmosphere,” Laura said.
This year is the 40th anniversary year of the birth of Ironman and Laura is thankful for the huge influence the sport has been on her life as an athlete.
“It is awesome to see the sport grow over the past few years, not just the 40 years. If I think back to when I was growing up in the UK, I didn’t have a clue about triathlon. It was only when I was in Australia, where the sport was, at that time so much bigger, that I discovered it. But now, almost 10years later, I see how big the sport is in the UK, thanks to the likes of Chrissie Wellington but also the Brownlee brothers.”
“In the early years of my time in the sport, my friends and family wouldn’t have heard of triathlon, yet now I have all sorts of people contacting me saying they’ve signed up for a race or event and are training for a triathlon. It’s fantastic.”
“I started the sport as a complete beginner, and I’m now a professional and grateful for the opportunity to follow something I love, and to live my passion day to day. I travel the world training and racing and I know I’m incredibly privileged to do this. It is a lifestyle and has a wonderful community. I’ve met so many amazing people around the world, and heard so many incredible stories. It has given me some fantastic experiences and ‘pinch myself’ moments that I could never have believed or dreamed of,” she said.
Australia Takes Gold in Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay Triathlon, Gentle Celebrates Big Comeback
The Australian team won on its own turf in Saturday’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games mixed team relay triathlon. The team included Ashleigh Gentle, Matthew Hauser, Jake Birtwhistle, and Gillian Backhouse. Birtwhistle secured the victory in 01:17:36, 52 seconds ahead of England’s team and 01:52 ahead of the bronze winners of New Zealand.
For Birtwhistle, the mixed relay marked a Commonwealth Games podium streak after he nearly closed a wide gap behind South Africa’s Henri Schoeman, in the run leg of Thursday’s men’s triathlon, and won a silver. For Gentle, it was a major comeback story after she missed the Thursday podium by two positions.
Ashleigh Gentle Excels in Relay
Gentle, the third member on the course, made up for a 15-second deficit in the 250m swim leg by handing Birtwhistle a 39-second lead during the 1.5km run, easing his sprint to victory.
Gentle didn’t have it easy. She struggled with Thursday’s silver winner, Jessica Learmonth of Britain, during the entire 7km bike leg, which they completed together. Learmonth had a slight mishap while dismounting her bike, giving Gentle an opportunity to sprint ahead of her in the run before handing the final run stretch to her teammate.
A Tough Week for the Brownlee Brothers
Birtwhistle commanded a solid, and growing lead, over two-time Olympic champion, Alistair Brownlee of England. Brownlee had a rough week after realizing he did not give a prior calf injury enough time to recover. His brother, Jonny, was also recovering from a leg injury.
Who Australia was Up Against
England had a truly all-star team. Other than the Brownlee brothers and Learmonth, the team also included Vicky Holland. In the individual triathlon race, Learmonth and Holland claimed silver and bronze behind Bermuda’s Flora Duffy, who finished in 00:56:50, 43 seconds ahead of Learmonth.
The New Zealand quartet had Tayler Reid, Nicole van der Kaay, Andrew Hewitt, and Ryan Sissons. Sissons, a last minute replacement for Tony Dodds, claimed fifth in the individual triathlon. Dodds finished in 16th. Pundits had high expectations for Hewitt this year, but she finished 13thin the individual race.
XTERRA New Zealand returns to Rotorua for 16th year this Saturday
Sam Osborne and Jacqui Allen are back to defend their elite titles at the 16th annual XTERRA New Zealand Championship race at Lake Tikitapu in Rotorua on Saturday.
For Osborne, a Rotorua native and the reigning XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion, it marks the start of another ambitious season of XTERRA racing.
“I’m feeling good & ready,” said Osborne, who won five majors and finished second in the European Tour rankings last year. “I’ve had a very consistent block of training with no interruptions, and that can only be a good thing.”
Osborne will need to come out of the gates sharp if he is to defend the hometown crown in front of a raucous crowd sure to be filled with his family and friends. The field is stacked with Kiwi greats and Aussie star Ben Allen who has 18 career wins of his own, including two in Rotorua (2012 and 2013).
“Yeah, I’ve seen Benny’s made the trip over earlier than normal, so he’s clearly giving the race and the course a great deal of respect,” said Osborne. “There’s plenty of big mountain bikers in the field to be concerned about as well. We’re racing at one of the best bike parks in the world and with the swim only being 1km here, it puts a lot of those guys right in the mix. Watch out for Hayden (Wilde) too. He is coming off a decent racing block with ITU, so you know he’ll be sharp, and he’s not someone you take lightly on the start list.”
Of note, the bike course has seen some significant changes this year, and the new arena is a good one says Osborne.
“The new course is great. Organizer Frank Clarke has done a good job to get it to flow so well. Rotorua is like a playground of trails so to have a course that links up some of the best cross-country trails we have means it’ll be one of the best bike courses in the world. The talk around the course is its a bit flatter than before but there is a lot of power climbing on loose gravel in there which is incredibly leg sapping. And re-introducing Split Enz was a great move, it’s a trail that has got a lot of free speed if you invest in working the bike down it. It’s pretty physical to ride it fast but that’s the sort of stuff the mountain bikers can strut their stuff on.”
Wilde, a two-time 15-19 division XTERRA World Champion, finished three minutes behind Osborne in second-place last year and says he’s excited to ditch the road for the dirt this weekend.
“Can’t wait to get back on the trails where it all started and compete at XTERRA again,” said Wilde. “For me, this will be my only XTERRA this year as from May to August I’ll be in Europe racing WTS and World Cups to get as much experience and racing in as possible. I am finding the road stuff fast and exciting, but I miss XTERRA. Nothing compares to the off-road XTERRA feel and that’s where my triathlon career started so I just love it and can’t wait to race this weekend.”
Keep an eye out for Wilde, as his goal is the 2020 games and the pursuit of the Olympic dream, “but a return to Maui someday is in the cards for sure, I love that place,” he said.
The seemingly endless string of super strong Kiwi XTERRA racers carries on with the likes of Lewis Ryan, the youngest of the Rotorua crew at just 19-years of age. Ryan won the overall XTERRA Pan Am Championship amateur title two years ago and will make his elite debut on Saturday.
“Lining up with the big boys from here on out,” said the ever-cheerful Ryan. “Definitely an awesome opportunity and something I’m super stoked to commit too. Making it even more special is that I’m able to pin on my first pro number at home here in Rotorua, so my excitement levels are peaking!”
Ryan said he grew up watching the “old guard” XTERRA pros and feels honoured to toe the line with the legends.
“I’ve been pre-riding the course the last couple days with Ben and Jacqui Allen and it’s brought back a whole load of memories,” he explained. “I grew up watching Ben have some epic battles here and as a kid who knew nothing about triathlon and was just at XTERRA Rotorua to support my Dad, these guys like Ben made the sport look so attractive. It’ll be special to line up beside one of the good guys of the sport who I’ve idolized since day one.”
As for who he thinks the favourites should be, Ryan says “it’s Sam, Hayden, Ben and Olly Shaw. Olly (also from Rotorua) is always a player here, and they’re all phenomenal athletes. In terms of the actual race, everyone knows it’s going to be a fast swim. Ben and Sam have proven themselves as some of the best fish in the sea. Going out onto the new bike course, the race dynamic will be a little bit different to previous years and I think it’ll make for an exciting showdown. There’s going to be plenty of opportunities to put moves in over different sections of the course. There’s no obvious make or break sector so I think we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens. For myself, I’ve got certain sections of trail that seem to have a nice flow about them which should make for some good fun come Saturday. My actual goals are completely different to previous races, as I’m really going into it totally relaxed. It’ll be my first time lining up as a pro, so I just want to enjoy the moment and embrace the atmosphere.”
Other elite men on the line include XTERRA veteran Alex Roberts from Taupo and Rodney Bell from Australia.
In the women’s race, Jacqui Slack from Great Britain will be gunning for her third Rotorua crown (she also won in 2012).
“It’s awesome to be back here in Rotorua,” said Slack, who also won XTERRA Tahiti and finished 2nd on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour last year. “The weather is being kind and the trails are dry and fast. I’m feeling great and training has been going well so I’m ready to kick off the Asia-Pacific Tour. As always, there will be some solid competition from the Kiwi ladies making sure it’s a close race along with our Aussie lass Penny Slater.”
Of note amongst those Kiwi, ladies is Hannah Wells, who was second to Slack here last year, and Kristy Jennings, the reigning 35-39 XTERRA World Champion who will be making her debut in the elite field on Saturday should injuries she suffered in a bike crash last week subside.
“I’m going to ride the mountain bike course to see how I feel and will make the call then,” said Jennings, who also has XTERRA Danao, Tahiti, and Albay on her docket this season. “It’s a 50/50 chance of racing right now which is super disappointing, but we’ll see.”
Other female elites on the line include Aussie Leela Hancox, who finished fourth at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in Malaysia last year, and Laura Mira from Brazil, who was fourth in the XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series last season.
XTERRA New Zealand is the first of four races on the 2018 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour, which heads to the Philippines for the one-day Asia-Pacific Championship race in Danao on April 22, follows with XTERRA Tahiti in Moorea on May 11, and wraps up in Albay (Philippines) on June 17.
|XTERRA NEW ZEALAND ALL-TIME ELITE WINNERS|
|2003||Sam Mallard||Evelyn Willamson|
|2004||Hamish Carter||Sonia Foote|
|2005||Hamish Carter||Sonia Foote|
|2006||Hamish Carter||Gina Ferguson|
|2007||Tim Wilding||Gina Ferguson|
|2008||Terenzo Bozzone||Sonia Foote|
|2009||Richard Ussher||Nicola Leary|
|2010||Scott Thorne||Nicola Leary|
|2011||Richard Ussher||Karen Hanlen|
|2012||Ben Allen||Jacqui Slack|
|2013||Ben Allen||Renata Bucher|
|2014||Conrad Stoltz||Barbara Riveros|
|2015||Braden Currie||Suzie Snyder|
|2016||Braden Currie||Lizzie Orchard|
|2017||Sam Osborne||Jacquie Allen|
Ironman Foundation and Challenged Athletes Foundation Team Up for Junior Seau Adaptive Surf Clinic in Oceanside
The Ironman Foundation will hold its second service project of the 2018 season with an adaptive surf clinic that will include specialized sessions for youth, women and military/adults with physical challenges as part of the Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Youth Surf Program presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation, taking place on Sunday, April 8, 2018. In addition, the Ironman Foundation will distribute over $33,000 in charitable giveback to non-profit initiatives and groups in the greater Oceanside, California community in conjunction with the 2018 Ironman70.3Oceanside triathlon taking place on Saturday, April 7.
The clinic will host three specialized sessions that will total up to 30 kids, women and military/adults with physical challenges who will spend the morning learning to paddle and surf at Oceanside Pier with the assistance of volunteers including professional and age-group triathletes and coaches. The Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Program presented by Challenge Athletes Foundation provides the opportunity for participants with physical challenges to learn how to surf, improve their skills and ultimately share in a lifestyle sport that so many in Southern California enjoy, while celebrating the legacy of Junior Seau, the former San Diego Chargers linebacker who lived in Oceanside and surfed regularly.
“We are very grateful to the Junior Seau Foundation, the Ironman Foundation and all the athletes who will come out to help advance our program to teach and develop the next wave of challenged athletes in Adaptive Surfing,” said Virginia Tinley, CAF Executive Director. “This clinic offers everyone that participates in a truly special and life-changing opportunity to make an impact in this community. We are excited to see some of these attendees catch their first waves and stand on their surfboards for the first time.”
The Ironman Foundation Community Fund provides community and volunteer grant opportunities to non-profit organizations where North American Ironman events are held. In 2018, the Ironman Foundation will distribute more than $1.7 million in grant funding to support the needs of Ironman race communities across North America, including a grant program to support organizations with a volunteerism component.
“We are honoured to support so many outstanding local community organizations and for our ongoing partnership with Challenged Athletes Foundation,” said Sarah Hartmann, Acting Executive Director of the Ironman Foundation. “The adaptive surf clinic is an extraordinary opportunity for our athletes to connect with CAF heroes and create a lasting and tangible impact in Oceanside.”
To register for the Ironman Foundation 2018 Junior Seau Foundation Adaptive Surf Clinic presented by Challenged Athletes Foundation as a participant, surf coach or volunteer, please visit www.ironmanfoundation.org/oceanside.