Two months out and some big names in long distance racing are set to line up at the new look event, Challenge Shepparton on Sunday 16 November 2014.
The same Shepparton hospitality will present a brand new look course which has been received with overwhelming approval from athletes, sponsors and supporters.
Challenge Shepparton will be based in the City Centre, a change from the previous race, and includes a 1.9km swim in the stunning Victoria Park Lake, a two-lap 90km bike course on flat and fast roads and a three-lap 21.1km run encompassing the lake and trail tracks.
It’s been a huge effort by all stakeholders to re-locate the race to it’s new home and Challenge Asia Pacific CEO Marcus Altmann is full of praise for the team responsible.
Without the commitment, drive and passion from the Council, McPherson Media Group, David Hansen at Supersprint and the local community this simply wouldn’t have been possible. We’re very excited by the new look course and venue for the race, based in the hub of the city will be a real feature, and ensure a bright future for the event, said Mr Altman.
Earlier this year Tim Van Berkel won the inaugural Challenge Melbourne race and has his sights set on taking out the Victorian double when he lines up at Challenge Shepparton. Born and bred in Albury the race holds a special place in his heart, forming the foundations of his professional career.
I have a lot of history at this race, I was born in Albury and started racing around that area. I raced my first half there in 2005 and went on to win my first pro race there in 2007.
I’m excited Challenge is bringing triathlon back to a town where it all started for me, said van Berkel.
Victorian Leon Griffin would like nothing better than to add this to his impressive results list, while fellow Victorian Joey Lampe will keep the field honest and the pace on in the bike.
I’ve raced triathlons all around the world and Shepparton as a venue is right up there with the best of them when staging big ones, said Griffin.
Nice swim venues, great country roads to bike on and fantastic trails to run all providing great spectator vantage points, coupled with the amazing organization that Challenge Family are, will create an atmosphere and experience as good as any other, said Griffin.
Former Shepparton winner South Australia’s Matt White and Western Australia’s Courtney Ogden round out a field of champions.
â€œNot only do I get to race some of the very best athletes in the world, I get to do it in a relaxed and supportive environment, said Ogden.
Three-time Shepparton winner Rebekah Keat returns to one of her favourite races and to the region she was born and bred in search of a fourth title.
â€œIt’s such a fantastic event, a country race with such a great atmosphere. Having won three times before, it has great memories. I also love that it’s very close to Albury where I grew up, so I really feel relaxed and at home in Shepp,â€ said Keat.
Belinda Granger is one of the sports most beloved athletes, boasting a career that has spanned two decades. She has been one of the sports greatest exponents both on and off the course. Shepparton will throw up mixed emotions for the â€˜first lady’ or Iron distance racing. It will be her first outing at Shepparton but will also close a glorious chapter to her sporting life. This will be her final race in Australia as a professional as she brings to a close her illustrious career.
I am really looking forward to racing Challenge Shepparton. It will be my very first time racing there and I always love a new adventure. I have no doubt that it is going to be an amazing event,â€ said Granger.
It is also going to be extra special for me as it will be my last professional race in Australia, said Granger.
In addition to the professional field 1,400 age group competitors will also take on the challenge in this iconic Australian race established in 1997.
Challenge Shepparton offers a huge weekend of fun and options for everyone. It’s a jam packed program not just for triathletes but a kids triathlon, open water swim, fun run and for the cycling enthusiasts a criterium.