Started in 1983, Challenge Almere-Amsterdam is the second-oldest triathlon in the world (behind that little event that takes place in Hawaii every year that started in 1978). This weekend the event will host the World Triathlon Long Distance World Championships, with roughly 750 athletes expected to compete.
With so many big events happening in September this year, the field here in The Netherlands isn’t huge, but does promise to offer some exciting racing. The men’s elite field includes some big names in the sport including Scotland’s David McNamee, a two-time third place Kona finisher, American uber-biker Andrew Starykowicz, 2018 Challenge Almere winner Jaroslav Kovacic and 2019 runner-up Kristian Hogenhaug. Others to keep an eye on in the men’s field include 2018 World Triathlon Long Distance world champion Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, home-town hero Evert Scheltinga and full-distance newby Thomas Steger, renowned for his speedy run splits.
The women’s race features Ironman Lanzarote champion Michelle Vesterby, local hero Sarissa de Vries and Aussie Sarah Crowley, who took this title in 2017 in Penticton. Crowley raced in Roth last weekend, though, so it’s hard to say how she’ll fare with a second full-distance race in two weeks. (She also competed in the Collins Cup two weeks ago.)
The weekend also includes a half-distance race on Friday for age-group competitors, along with the Aquabike world championship on Sunday as well.
The event will be streamed live at www.challenge-family.live, with Australia’s Belinda Granger hosting the live show.