In a few days (13.-15. September) Davos will host the CHALLENGEDAVOS Festival for the
third consecutive year. During the course of three days, athletes will have the possibility
to participate in various endurance events. The highlight of the multi-sport event marks
the Saturday, where three different triathlon formats cater to all levels of athletes,
putting the Flüela into focus. The main event is the middle-distance triathlon, where in
the pro-section last years runner-up Pieter Heemeryck (BEL) will compete against Ruedi
Wild (SUI), Horst Reichel und Ruben Zepuntke (both GER). On the womens’ side Radka
Kahlefeldt (CZE), Emma Pallant (GBR) und Nina Derron (SUI) will be meeting at the start
line. Additionally to the triathlon competitions, a NightRun and the non-competitive bike
ride Ride the Alps over the Flüela will complete the festival weekend.
The program of the CHALLENGEDAVOS Festival has been growing even more this year. Starting
on Friday evening, a NightRun over 5,4 km will take place in the Kurpark. The Triathlon
events will also include a new, shorter format, especially designed for beginners. Sunday
marks the finish of this weekend with the Ride the Alps series event over the Flüela, which is
closed for motor-traffic on that day. There will be no timekeeping for the Ride the Alps event.
Triathlon on Saturday
The highlight of the weekend is the CHALLENGEDAVOS Middle Distance Race on Saturday.
A Triathlon covering 1,9 km of swimming , 55,4 km of cycling and finishing with a half
marathon. The start will be at 10:45 for the professionals, followed by the age groupers at
11:05. The swim will take place in lake Davos. The challenge awaits the athletes on the bike
between Davos and Susch (Engadin). 1770 meters of elevation have to be conquered by
climbing the Flüela pass from both sides, peaking at 2383 m. The run course will then lead
the athletes along the new route through the Matta Forest and the city of Davos.
Who will be the new Champion?
Defending champion of 2017 and 2018, Lena Berlinger unfortunately had to cancel her start
due to injury. Co-organiser and winner of 2018, Sven Riederer, has ended his professional
career. Therefore, on Saturday, two new champions will be crowned. The men’s favorite is
Pieter Heemeryck, who won 2nd place in 2018 and 2017. But also local Ruedi Wild is very
well acquainted with the climbs and descents of the Flüela and has proven his form just
recently in the Long Distance race in Hamburg, where he came second.
Routinier Horst Reichel andNewcomer Ruben Zepuntke (both from Germany)
are also strong contenders for the podium.
In the womens field, Radka Kahlefeldt from Czech Republic is frontrunner towards the 1st place. She has already won CHALLENGEKAISERWINKL-WALCHSEE and CHALLENGEPRAGUE this year. Yet, with Emma Pallant from Great Britain, Swiss athlete Nina Derron (2nd place at Ironman Vitoria-Gasteiz) and the German Natscha Schmid, Kahlefeldt encounters strong competition. Last but not least, Lucy Hall will be starting, who is a specialist at short distances, winning already European and World Cups.
Side events for everyone
Parallel to the Middle Distance Triathlon, an Olympic Distance will take place over a 1,5km
swim, 28km bike and 10km run, as well as an Experience sprint distance over 1,5km swim,
17km bike and 5km run. For both races, the competitors will tackle the Flüela only from the
Davos side. Athletes in the Olympic Distance will not only compete for the win, but also for
the last points in the overall ranking for the TRI Circuit series – a Swiss event series for
nonprofessional triathletes. But a sports festival would not be complete without other, attractive
side events. The NightRun on Friday night, the Swim & Run for the kids and young athletes
as well as the non-competitive Ride the Alps event onto the Flüela pass offer fun and
challenges for everyone.
Information for the races 2019:
Davos is part of the international Series Challenge Family (www.challenge-family.com) and
the national series TRI Circuit (www.tricircuit.ch).