Events are still being cancelled here in North America, but Challenge Taiwan is getting ready for a huge event this weekend. Over 5,000 athletes are getting ready to compete in weekend festival that includes full- (550 competitors), half- (1,700) and Olympic-distance (3,000) triathlons. There are also junior and kids races on the schedule, too.
“We still use our slogan ‘We Have A Deal’, which we were using before the coronavirus struck”, says Race Director Roann Chen. “We want to show athletes, sponsors and family that Challenge Taiwan is the place to be. Together we stay strong and together we have a deal. We will show the world how strong we are and how connected we remain.”
“Even now, when we are facing the uncertain time and pandemic and our race was postponed to November, we still have a deal to reunite in beautiful Taitung, Taiwan every year,” continues Challenge Asia-Pacific CEO Jovi Lo.
The event normally takes place in April, but had to be postponed until this weekend because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It traditionally brings some big names in for the race. Three-time Kona champ and Olympic gold medalist Jan Frodeno has competed at the event twice (2017 and 2018) and remembers the event warmly:
“Challenge Taiwan is full of warmth and joy; and Taiwan is my second home in Asia,” Frodeno said in a press release about the event last year. “The people are very hospitable, and I would hope to participate every year.”
This year Ironman super-couple Tim O’Donnell and Mirinda Carfrae were to have attended.
The event takes place in Taitung, which is on the southeast coast of Taiwan. The race begins in a man-made reservoir called Flowing Lake, while the bike course heads north along the coast between the Carp mountains the the Pacific Ocean. The run course includes the Taitung city centre and country roads before finishing in Tie Hua village.
Athletes from over 30 countries are represented in the race this weekend, including Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Mexico, the United States and New Zealand.