The swimming course at Bahrain Bay
Global athletes to take part in 'Challenge Bahrain'
Manama, July 8, 2014
Thousands of athletes and spectators from around the world are expected to take part in the 113km Challenge Bahrain event on December 6, which includes a 1.9km swim, 90km bike race and 21km run.
With a purse of $500,000 up for grabs, the winners in both the men's and women's categories will each walk away with $100,000, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It is the first Middle East event organised by Challenge Family and participants will swim across Bahrain Bay before starting a bike course that takes them through Manama and Muharraq before heading out to Sakhir.
They will then complete the gruelling race with a run at the Bahrain International Circuit.
"Challenge Bahrain is one of the most exciting developments in triathlon this year," said two-time Ironman triathlon world champion Mirinda Carfrae from Australia.
"The course looks spectacular and, with the expected cool, dry conditions and a wetsuit swim, we could be looking at a very fast race.
"This will be an amazing experience for pros and age groupers alike.
"I very much look forward to seeing everyone out on course - especially those triathletes stepping up to half distance for the first time.
The prize money for professional athletes is the world's largest half-distance prize purse.
All those who place in the top 10 will receive cash prizes, ranging from $50,000 for second and $3,000 for 10th.
Professional German triathlete and Datev Challenge Roth champion Dirk Bockel said Challenge Bahrain would establish Bahrain as a global triathlon destination.
"The race in Bahrain is the most sparkling event of this year; not only because of the massive amount of prize money and the joy the athletes are going to have racing there, but also because of travelling to a new destination that is not a typical triathlon location," he said.
"It's nice to have a leader that's also involved in triathlon that will reflect on the whole country and the recognition worldwide that Bahrain is also a triathlon location from now on.
"For us athletes, it is of course amazing to get the opportunity to see a new country and to race an excellently organised event by Challenge, but also to have the biggest prize money in the world, if you consider the taxes as well.
"This is the future of the sport and for me as a professional athlete this is a must do race, absolutely, not only because of all those facts but simply because Challenge puts on another milestone in the history of triathlon."
Organisers of the event are anticipating world records to be broken for half triathlons.
"The race course is very fast and flat. If it's windy, the biggest test will be a strong head wind on the bike," said Challenge Bahrain marketing and communications manager Sameera Al Bitar.
"The race will be televised and shown live as well as distributed globally, profiling Bahrain to the world.
"We anticipate that this fast course will see some world records for this distance as there is a strong chance that the wind will be a tail wind."
Amateur and professional athletes will compete side-by-side and anyone interested in taking part can visit www.challenge-bahrain.com.bh to register as either an individual for $300 or as a team for $400. - TradeArabia News Service