Lionel Sanders announced over social media yesterday that he will toe the start line of the inaugural Challenge Family world championship — a half distance race named The Championship — in Samorin, Slovakia on June 3rd.
Challenge Family has long advocated for more strict non-drafting rules in long course racing, particularly at their marquee race Challenge Roth. Sanders has been vocal about his support for this enforcement, particularly after the 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Mooloolaba, Australia.
The Championship will enforce a strict 20 metre draft zone, significantly longer than Ironman’s 12 metres.
Professional athletes interested in racing The Championship have several paths of qualification. Besides through Challenge Family events, athletes who finished top five at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, top three in the overall 2016 World Triathlon Series rankings, 2016 ITU Long Distance Championship, 2016 Ironman World Championship or 2016 Ironman 70.3 World Championship will also receive an invite to The Championship.
There is a 150,000 Euro prize purse at the event.
Several prominent triathlon professionals have announced their plans to race The Championship including Richard Murray and Sebastian Kienle.