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Challenge Pentiction debuts Sunday August 25

Chris McCormack and Carrie Lester headline the pro field.

The pro field is heating up as Challenge Penticton Canada is about to make history with the Challenge Family’s debut in North America.

Chris McCormack (AUS) has always had Penticton on his bucket list and is thrilled to be competing in the inaugural race. The four-time world champion has more long distance victories to his name than any other male – and is the only person to have won both Olympic and long distance world championships. He is a five-time International Triathlete of the Year, four-time Competitor of the Year and was named ESPN’s World’s Fittest Man.

The calibre of international competition is impressive. Jamie Whyte is a consistent performer with multiple podium finishes, including winning Challenge Wanaka, New Zealand, in 2011, second place in 2012 and 2013 and seventh at the inaugural Challenge Taiwan. Lothar Leder (GER) is a three-time champion for Germany in Olympic distance triathlon and five-time winner of Challenge Roth and iron-distance races in Germany. He captured third at Kona twice and posted a best time, and made history in 1996 as the world’s first triathlete to complete an iron-distance race in under eight hours.

Mitch Dean (AUS) is returning to the place of his first iron-distance triathlon – he completed this at the age of 18, returning at 19 for a fourth-place finish.

North American athletes are bringing their A-game as well. Scott Defillippis (USA) has prepared for race day with a top-three finish at IM Florida and top-five at IM Switzerland. Chris Bagg (USA) returns Penticton to improve on his 4th place finish from 2011, bringing his Portland counterpart Andrew Langfield (USA).

The Canadian contingent is eager to hoist the maple leaf as well. Anthony Toth (CDN) returns to the race of his best time, having achieved a personal best in 2012 in Penticton and fourth overall. Penticton’s own Jeff Symonds makes his iron-distance debut.

In the women’s field, Australian Carrie Lester will look to crack the North American code, after scooping the 2012 championship in IM Cairns and Rev 3 Cedar Point in 2012, and coming out on top in 2010 Ironman Australia and the long-course championships in 2010.

Erin Furness from New Zealand will also bring international level competition to the course. Her top-10 finish at IM New Zealand this year and age group winner will give her a mental edge leading into Challenge Penticton, Canada. Trish Deim (USA) is having a breakout season in her sophomore year of pro racing, with top-10 finishes in Wildflower and Coeur d’Alene and a top-15 in Los Cabos.

Professional triathletes will benefit from a prize purse more than 54,000 Euro ($75,000 CA) prize purse paying down to 10th place.

The launch of Challenge Penticton sees it as the exclusive long distance Challenge race in Canada, and marks the long-distance race returning to its roots with community support and ownership.

Taking place on August 25, 2013, Challenge Penticton is planning a new race experience to a time-honoured course, which has travelled through the heart of B.C. wine country and along stunning lakes for 30 years – the longest running triathlon in North America.

The course itself is technically challenging due to its geography and climate, and is known the world over for its single loop through mountainous B.C. geography. The swim takes place in the pristine Okanagan Lake, which records warm water temperatures throughout the summer. The bike course features two significant climbs at Richter Pass and Yellow Lake with elevation ascents over 210 metres high. The run includes an out-and-back along the gorgeous Skaha Lake to the south.

The Okanagan region also bucks the national trend by being blistering hot in the summer – the only desert region in Canada – that can see temperatures averaging 27 Celsius (80 Fahrenheith) and reaching highs of 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) during August.

For further information on Challenge Penticton Canada visit www.challenge-penticton.com. For up-to-date news, visit them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter @Challenge_Pen.

About Challenge Penticton Canada

Challenge Penticton Canada is part of the global series of long-distance triathlons within the Challenge Family, holding the first race in North America on Aug. 25, 2013. Challenge Penticton Canada is a not-for-profit society committed to providing an exceptional race experience for athletes, the supporters, and the community, with the mandate to give back to local sport-related charities.

About Challenge Family

The Challenge Family global series of long distance triathlons features races throughout Europe, North America and Australasia. Challenge Family races are known for their excellent athlete race experience and commitment to the communities in which they take place.

ePACT Network Ltd. the Official Emergency Preparedness Sponsor of Challenge Penticton, Canada

ePACT Network Ltd. is pleased to announce their role as the official Emergency Preparedness Sponsor for Challenge Penticton, Canada helping better connect and protect the inspiring triathletes on race day, August 25th, 2013.

The Challenge Family is dedicated to delivering the race of a lifetime to all participants, hosting 21 long distance triathlons in thirteen countries. Challenge Penticton, Canada is the Challenge Family’s inaugural event in North America, and will host over 1,300 athletes, 4,000 volunteers, and 30,000+ spectators from early morning August 25th.

Challenge Penticton, Canada covers 226 km across the spectacular Okanagan Valley. Athletes swim a 3.8 km course in Okanagan Lake, followed by a 180 km cycling route through Penticton and neighbouring Okanagan Falls, Oliver, Osoyoos and Keremeos, before finishing off with a 42.2 km run from Penticton to Okanagan Falls and back. Thousands of volunteers support athletes with aid stations across the course, and tens of thousands of friends, relatives and general spectators cheer from the sidelines.

In long distance events, support to athletes is critical, as injuries and illness are possible at anytime. ePACT, the emergency network, will provide immediate access to critical medical and contact details for all athletes participating in the race, ensuring the Challenge Penticton, Canada staff and medical teams have the necessary information for fastest support in case of a medical emergency.

Laura Carleton, Challenge Penticton’s Manager of Race Operations, is excited about partnering with ePACT and the support the network provides the team and participants. “The Challenge Family prides itself on our commitment to our athletes. ePACT’s comprehensive database gives us quick and easy access to all the information we need on race day, helping our medical team best serve our athletes should they require support.” Drew Vincent, Coordinator of Corporate Sponsorship for Challenge Penticton, agreed with Laura, stating that “Challenge is all about a high caliber athlete experience. Working with ePACT is a great opportunity to further demonstrate how focused we are on offering the best possible race for all our athletes.”

Christine Sommers, ePACT’s Co-Founder and CEO, added “We are extremely proud and honored to sponsor Challenge Penticton, Canada. The Penticton team has already implemented incredible safety practices, and their use of ePACT furthers this commitment. We are so excited about this partnership, our team will actually be there on race day to cheer on these inspiring athletes!”

About ePACT Network Ltd.

ePACT is the emergency network, bringing communities together to share critical information, plan collectively and communicate before, during and after any emergency for greater connectivity and safety for all. Individuals and families create their single emergency record, then connect and share this with emergency contacts and organizations that support them. Organizations significantly improve their emergency preparedness and response capabilities by utilizing this innovative emergency management tool.

ePACT Network Ltd is based in North Vancouver, British Columbia.  The company was founded by Christine Sommers and Kirsten Koppang Telford after speaking with survivors of the March 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami. Visit www.epactnetwork.com for more information.