Challenge Family today announced a partnership with Asia’s longest running triathlon and in doing so, revealed its commitment to developing a series of half and full distance events throughout the region.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon in Thailand has the longest tradition in triathlon in Asia attracting the sport’s legends and age groupers alike to the stunning tropical island for two decades. In 2013 it will celebrate its 20th anniversary with the launch of the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest from 24 November “1 December. This week-long celebration of sport will incorporate the iconic Laguna Phuket Triathlon and half distance Challenge Laguna Phuket with a host of sporting and social activities in between.
Debbie Dionysius, assistant vice president of destination marketing, Laguna Phuket, said she was delighted that Phuket will host the first Challenge Family triathlon in Asia.
“We feel it’s fitting that our popular and iconic race should be the debut Asian Challenge event, and we’re confident in the potential of our Challenge partnership to further expand its global popularity among professional athletes and age groupers alike,” she said. “The launch of the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest represents an exciting new chapter for both our long-established destination distance race and our half iron distance triathlon, one that is sure to ignite the passion of our triathletes who come here to race from all over the world. We look forward with enthusiasm to Challenge Laguna Phuket 2013 and to being the launch pad for a new era of triathlon in Asia.”
In Phuket for the launch of the Challenge Laguna Phuket Tri-Fest, two-time world champion, Chris McCormack said the synergy between Challenge and Laguna Phuket Triathlon was clear. “Challenge Roth is the oldest race in Europe, Challenge Penticton the oldest in North America and now we have Challenge Laguna Phuket, the oldest race in Asia “that speaks volumes to me about the importance Challenge Family places on the legacy of our sport,” he said. “This approach echoes exactly how I feel. Our legacy is the foundation of this sport and Challenge is the organisation that has proven time and again that they respect the sport and its athletes. The partnerships we are building will ensure the sport retains its soul and provide an exciting future.”
A key element of the Challenge Family’s expansion into Asia is the appointment of Murphy Reinschreiber to the Challenge Family team. With over 20 years of experience of delivering triathlons in Asia, Reinschreiber is tasked with overseeing the development of Challenge Family races within the region.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with Laguna Phuket for every step of its triathlon journey, including its move to Challenge,” he said. “The values that have endeared the Laguna Phuket races and Challenge Roth to their participants over the years will be apparent at all Challenge races in Asia. The lesson I’ve learned working in Asia is that triathletes expect high quality event experiences that extend beyond the start and finish lines. Challenge races will meet these expectations – our DNA from Roth and Phuket assures it.”
Challenge Family CEO, Felix WalchshÃ¶fer, said expansion into Asia was the next logical step for the organisation and he was delighted to partner with the team at Laguna Phuket Triathlon who share Challenge’s athletes’ experience first philosophy.
“Now Challenge has established itself as the top long-distance race series in Europe, Asia is a top priority. We expect to develop a full series of half and full distance events in Asia over the next few years. We think that our brand of triathlon is right for Asia as we have a long-term perspective that allows us to contribute to the development of the sport in our host countries and engage our local communities. We’re very much looking forward to starting this journey with Laguna Phuket Triathlon.”
The Challenge Laguna Phuket course features a 1.9km swim off a stunning white sands beach with both sea water and freshwater sections in two different bodies of water with a 100m sprint in between. The 90km bike combines steep hilly sections with typical lush Thai scenery while the predominantly flat 21km run leads athletes through some of the island’s most luxurious resorts before finishing at Laguna Grove.
The Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons currently features 15 races throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. Challenge Family races are known for their excellent athlete race experience and commitment to the communities in which they take place.