The countdown to the sell-out Challenge Bahrain is underway with the world’s greatest triathletes, along with over 1,000 age groupers, preparing to make their way to the Kingdom of Bahrain to create triathlon history.
On 6 December a formidable start list, featuring current and previous world champions, Olympians and Commonwealth champions will line up to battle for a share of Challenge Bahrain’s record-breaking USD500,000 prize purse.
Among those with their eye on the prestigious win are Sebastian Kienle (GER), Pete Jacobs (AUS), Dirk Bockel (LUX) and Michael Raelert (GER). In the women’s race multiple world champion Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) leads an all star line-up that includes Rachel Joyce (GBR), Caroline Steffen (SUI), Melissa Hauschildt (AUS), Helle Frederiksen (DEN) and Radka Vodickova (CZE) as well as ITU star, Jodie Stimpson (GBR) making her long distance debut.
As befits triathlon’s most eagerly anticipated event, triathlon fans around the world can watch the race unfold with full online live TV coverage from 7:00am (4:00am GMT) on race day. The coverage will be commentated by four time world champion, Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack and British sports commentator Oliver Wilson, joined throughout the day by special guests. Live coverage will continue until long after the pros have crossed the line, capturing every age group finisher until the course closes at 3.30pm.
Online spectators can also be directly involved in the race with the opportunity to ask the commentators questions, vote in polls and share their thoughts on the race through the integrated social media portal.
In order to promote safe and fair racing, Challenge Bahrain organisers have taken the step to introduce a 20m draft zone for pro athletes, with 35 seconds passing time. In addition Challenge Family has listened to the female pro athletes’ comments and implemented a separate start from the pro men and a 30 minute gap to the following AG men, ensuring the race is truly their own.
Challenge Bahrain has a strong commitment to promoting an active and healthy lifestyle to the local community and supporting the development of local triathletes. To this end the prize purse has been extended to amateur GCC and Bahraini athletes, both male and female individuals as well as relay teams, to support the development of the sport in this emerging triathlon nation. Over 15% of the field is made up of local Bahraini athletes, many of them competing in triathlon for the first time.
The fast flat point-to-point course traverses all aspects of Bahrain’s ancient civilisation, from World Heritage Sites dating back to 4,000BC to the modern architectural gem of Manama and the glamour of Formula One to a run course that is shared by animals of the Al Areen Wildlife Park. The most diverse course on the international circuit, it also promises to be one of the fastest with a sheltered swim, prevailing tail wind on the bike and fast paved surface on the run.