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Sanders and Charles-Barclay highlight Challenge Daytona field

Canadian superstar Lionel Sanders and Great Britain's Lucy Charles-Barclay are among the professionals confirmed to compete at Challenge Daytona in December.

One of triathlon’s most exciting new races now features two of its biggest stars.

Sanders beginning the run at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant. (Credit: Kevin Mackinnon)

Canadian Lionel Sanders and Great Britain’s Lucy Charles-Barclay will race at next month’s second annual Challenge Daytona, a unique, spectator-friendly event held at the Daytona International Speedway.

The professional athletes will race the “Daytona Distance Under the Lights” format, a one-mile swim, 37-mile bike, and 8.2-mile run. The race begins at 4:30 pm, which means the lights – normally only used for NASCAR racing, sports cars and Supercross – will illuminate the track at 5:30 as the sun is setting and as the athletes power their way through their ride.

The top six men and women will share a total prize purse of US$20,500, with the winners earning $3,900 each. The top-six also gain points for the end-of-season Challenge Family bonus.

Sanders enters the race off a dominant win at Ironman 70.3 Los Cabos earlier this month, and has been very vocal about how excited he is to race at the event.

Lucy Charles-Barclay on the bike at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon.

Charles-Barclay has had a sensational 2019, winning the Ironman African Championship, Challenge Roth, and finishing second at the Ironman World Championship last month for the third straight year.

Other notable names entered on the men’s side include Americans Andrew Starykowicz and Eric Lagerstrom, along with Canadians Taylor Reid and Mikael Staer Nathan. Starykowicz was the runner-up last year, while Reid placed fourth.

A loaded women’s field includes 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden, last year’s second and third-place finishers, Americans Alicia Kaye and Meredith Kessler, along with Canadians Paula Findlay, Angela Naeth and Kristen Marchant.

The Challenge Daytona festival will run from Dec.13-15, with the pro race on Saturday the 14th. The festival features numerous races over the three days including sprint and middle-distance triathlons. For more information on the event click here.