Cape Town is a week away from rolling out the red carpet for the CHALLENGECAPETOWN Festival, a weekend of sporting events comprising a series of open water swim races in Big Bay on Saturday (9 November), a family fun run on Sunday (10 Nov), as well as the first middle distance triathlon (1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21km run) to take place within the City.
CHALLENGECAPETOWN forms part of the global CHALLENGEFAMILY franchise, and is the first (and only) CHALLENGEFAMILY event in Africa and South Africa.
The CHALLENGECAPETOWN triathlon will comprise a 1.9km swim in Big Bay, a 90km cycle that includes a 3-lap flat and fast cycle along the scenic Otto du Plessis Drive stretching between Dolphin Beach and Atlantic Golf Estate, and culminating in a thrilling and unique ride into the City and through the Company’s Garden. The 21km run will be completed over three laps in the Zonnebloem / District Six precinct – passing some of the City’s historical buildings and iconic landmarks like Parliament, City Hall and the Castle of Good Hope along the way.
Some of the world’s best triathletes will line up at the start. In the men’s race, Team South Africa will be out in full force, featuring local tri greats like Matt Trautman, winner of this year’s CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM in an amazing course record of 7:50:15, and Bradley Weiss, who retained his XTERRA world championship crown in October. Kyle Buckingham, Keegan Cooke, Jaryd Brown and Rudolf Naude complete the South African line-up.
A South African win isn’t a given, however. Spaniard Pablo Dapena Gonzalez, the 2018 ITU Long Distance World Champion who recently crashed during CHALLENGEPEGUERA-MALLORCA is eager to earn a spot on the podium. The legendary Tim Don (UK) – three-time Olympian and one of the fastest triathletes in the world – is also on his way to the Mother City, joined by Evert Scheltinga (Netherlands), Steve McKenna (Australia), and Johannes Moldan (Germany).
The women’s race also promises much excitement, with tough competition expected from Emma Pallant (UK). Pallant won two middle distance races last month, and is keen to clinch a third. She will be joined by fellow countrywoman Laura Siddall – former European Champion – as well as South African triathletes Annah Watkinson, Gillian Sanders, Lauren Cannon and Vicky van der Merwe.
“There have been many attempts by different race organisers to stage a middle distance triathlon in Cape Town over the years, so I am absolutely thrilled that we are finally doing it” says CHALLENGECAPETOWN race director, Gary Marescia. “Staging this event is a dream come true for the organising team at WorldSport, and something the triathlon community in Cape Town has been waiting for. We are especially grateful for the City of Cape Town. They have been incredibly supportive and worked extremely hard with us to make this happen.”
SPORTING FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
While the triathlon will test the fittest multisport athletes, the CHALLENGECAPETOWN Festival of events also include a number of races for the rest of the family, and Cape Town’s outdoor enthusiasts.
CHALLENGECAPETOWN SWIM is a series of ocean swim races in Big Bay on Saturday, 9 November. It includes a 1.9km open water swim (following same route as the triathlon swim on Sunday), as well as a 4 x 300m junior swim relay, and a 4 x 150m kids’ swim relay. Wetsuit and skins swimmers are welcome.
The CHALLENGECAPETOWN 6km Family Fun Run / Walk takes place on Sunday, 10 November. Starting and finishing at Cape Town High School – transformed into the CHALLENGECAPETOWN Finish Village on Sunday – the run/walk is perfect for runners and walkers of all ages. All finishers will receive a medal, and participants are encouraged to go back onto the route and support the triathletes as they complete their 21km run along the same course.
“As a CHALLENGEFAMILY event, we place great emphasis on promoting sport and a healthy lifestyle to all members of our athletes’ families, as well as the communities in which we operate,” notes Marescia.
“Adding the swims and run/walk to CHALLENGECAPETOWN was an important step to harness the wider community and show them that you don’t have to be a triathlete to be a CHALLENGECAPETOWN athlete; we celebrate all levels of fitness and the efforts of every participant, whether they complete the 6km fun run or a middle distance triathlon.”