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New Challenge event in Australia

In Cairns on June 5, 2011.

The Challenge series of events has now entered the continent of Australia. On June 5th, 2011, the inaugural Challenge Cairns Great Barrier Reef will take place.

Athletes will traverse a 3.8 km swim in the warm crystal clear waters off Yorkeys Knob, then bike 180 km along the scenic coastal roads of Australia towards Port Douglas, and conclude with a 42.2 km run that includes the Cairns boardwalk before finishing in the heart of the city of Cairns.

“This is a hugely exciting development for the Challenge Family and we’re delighted to bring a new style and quality of racing to athletes, both age group and pro, in Australia,” said Felix Walchshöfer, Challenge Family CEO. “So many Australians have already enjoyed the Challenge experience around the world, including many of the sport’s biggest names and now they can do so on their home turf. We have been working for almost two years towards launching Challenge in Australia and as they say, all the best things are worth waiting for. We have secured the most amazing course that includes what must be the greatest bike leg in the world. And, thanks to the hard work of John O’Sullivan and his team from Queensland Events for the Queensland Government, together with Tourism Queensland and Cairns City Council, we are delighted to announce we will work exclusively with Queensland, Australia’s – Home of Triathlon.”

Challenge Cairns Great Barrier Reef promises to attract some of the biggest names in long distance triathlon with its 100,000 Euro prize purse, the second richest in iron distance racing. Australian pros Belinda Granger, Rebekah Keat, Tim Berkel, and Pete Jacobs have already committed to racing the event. The Challenge Family will work with renowned event organizers, USM Events, and managing director, Geoff Meyer, said the prize purse reflected the Challenge Family commitment to athletes.

“We delighted to offer such a significant prize purse to the athletes that also extends to the relay teams sector of the event,” he said. “This, together with the outstanding location and commitment of our key stakeholders, will result in one of the world’s iconic races that will not only benefit the Cairns community but position Queensland as a major player in the global triathlon market. Working with Challenge is a wonderful opportunity and we look forward to bringing the Challenge experience to Australia.”

The Challenge Family global series of events currently features the following events in 2011:

15 January – Challenge Wanaka, New Zealand

1 May – Half Challenge Fuertaventura, Spain

29 May – Half Challenge Barcelona Maresme, Spain

5 June – Challenge Cairns Great Barrier Reef, Australia

5 June – Half Challenge Kraichgau, Germany

10 July – Challenge Roth, Germany

14 August – Challenge Copenhagen, Denmark

4 September – Half Challenge Walchsee-Kaiserwinkel, Austria

18 September – Challenge Henley-on-Thames, UK

2 October – Challenge Barcelona Maresme

Entries for Challenge Cairns will open in November 2010

Check out the race website for more details.