Challenge Family hosted its seventh annual Challenge Quassy race weekend on June 6th and 7th at the Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut. Athletes could choose between an Olympic distance race on the 6th, the half iron distance race on the 7th, or the “challenge” of competing in both. Known for its difficult bike and run climbs, the course pushed athletes to their limits at this family friendly festival-style weekend.
Without a pro prize purse, professional and age-group athletes competed together. The race also served as the USAT Northeast Regional Championship, so the field was stacked with talented age groupers. Canadian first year professional, 28-year old Pierre-Yves Gigou from Quebec City won the half iron event. A member of Team Merrell, Gigou was about one minute behind the lead swimmers when he entered T1 but had no problem making his way to into first place overall on the gruelling bike course, tackling the hills in an impressive time of 2:22:37 and entering T2 with an 11-minute lead over the competition. After a 1:21:38 half marathon, Gigou crossed the finish line in a time of 4:15:48 and was followed by Team Timex member Chris Thomas who placed second in 4:29:12.
“I really liked the race!” Gigou declared after his win. “Many friends told me this is a perfect course for me. This is my first year as a pro and I was excited to race here, so when I heard there would be no prize money I decided to come anyway. I’m glad because I really enjoyed it. And I bet my teammate $10 I would win, so I did win that money! I’ll come back here.”