The winds of change are picking up for long-distance triathlon in North America – event organisers Rev3 and Challenge Family have agreed to merge their two race series, with all Rev3 triathlons to become Challenge branded from 2015.
The partnership sees the addition of the following races to the Challenge Family USA race calendar in 2015: Challenge Knoxville, Challenge Quassy, Challenge Williamsburg, Challenge Maine, Challenge Cedar Point, Challenge Pocono Mountains, Challenge Anderson, Challenge Venice and Challenge Ixtapa in Mexico. They will join the existing races of Challenge Atlantic City, Challenge New Albany and Challenge Rancho Cordova.
This means that in a few short years Challenge has gone from no presence at all in North America – where WTC remains king with over 100 Ironman-branded races – to being in the double figures. Its heartland however remains Europe, where the 30th Challenge Roth was held earlier this year for 220,000 spectators, 5,000 age-groupers, and top pros including Mirinda Carfrae and Rachel Joyce.
For Rev3’s part, the organiser decided to cut its elite prize purse last May due to a “shift in marketing focus”, as a dwindling attendance by the Kona-bound pros meant that there were just 24 athletes vying for $100,000 at the last Rev3 Quassy.
All remaining Rev3 races for 2014 will continue to run as Rev3 events, with support from Challenge Family. Rev3’s draft-legal race series ‘Rev3 Rush’ will continue to run under the Rev3 brand in 2015.
Online entries for next year’s Challenge-branded events are open now at www.challenge-familyusa.com, where full details of the new race schedule can also be found.
Do you think this is good news for long-distance triathletes in North America? Let us know in the comments below!