Bahrain triathlon to offer $500,000 prize money
Manama, May 9, 2014
Bahrain is hosting a spectacular half-triathlon this year with a record prize money of $500,000, which will see participation from thousands of athletes and spectators from around the world, a report said.
The 113km Challenge Bahrain event will be held on December 6 and includes a 1.9km swim, 90km bike race and 21km run, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
It is the first Middle East event organised by Challenge Family and participants will cross the old Muharraq bridge before starting a bike course referred to as a "journey through time" - taking them past the financial district, Bahrain National Museum, Bahrain National Theatre and the Grand Mosque.
They will continue into the desert where they will complete the gruelling race with a lap at the Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir.
"Athletes will run past ostriches, giraffes, birds, horses, camels and oryx, and through the natural landscapes of Bahrain before crossing the finish line at the Formula One complex," says the Challenge Bahrain website.
Challenge Family chief executive Zibi Szlufcik said he was keen to host the event in Bahrain.
He added the participation of Supreme Council for Youth and Sport chairman and Bahrain Olympic Committee president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, as well as the council's first deputy chairman and Bahrain Athletics Association president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, in international events such as Ironman Florida, Challenge Philippines and Ironman South Africa meant there was a "brilliant overlap".
"We reviewed our core values and there is a brilliant overlap in what we are aiming at and what they are aiming at: growing the sport on a global scale, adding value to the local communities, using triathlon as a bridge between professional athletes and the general population and between the general population and a healthy lifestyle and really making a long-lasting footprint that incorporates families and communities," Mr Szlufcik told the Triathlete Europe magazine.
The event will also feature a festival, a Challenge Women's run and a Junior Challenge youth race - in addition to rock concerts, international cuisine and cultural activities.
Bahrain Triathlon Association president Dr Saqer Al Khalifa told the publication he was looking forward to the event, adding authorities would provide visas on arrival for participants.
He added the government was investing in a world-class "triathlon training centre" to develop the multisport.
"I think it was a very good call when the leadership told us to think about developing world-class facilities for this sport," he said.
"Because when you do something for triathlon, you're doing something for cycling, you're doing something for swimming and you're doing something for running - not just for triathlon."
He said the Challenge Bahrain race was offering the largest prize for a half-distance event, which is almost as much as the $650,000 on offer at the Ironman World Championship. – TradeArabia News Service