It was announced today that USA Triathlon and the Professional Triathletes Organisation have joined forces with Challenge North America to be part of its iconic Challenge Daytona race at Daytona International Speedway on December 4th, 5th and 6th. The three-day triathlon festival will attract athletes from around the world to compete at the “World Centre of Racing” and will feature an array of different events, including age-grouper sprint and middle-distance events, junior challenges, a Pro-Am relay and will culminate with a PTO Middle Distance World Championship Race with a $1,000,000 prize purse for the world’s top professional triathletes.
William Christy, CEO of Challenge North America said, “In often a divided world, triathlon has been a unifying force for athletes across the globe. We come together to compete as a family of global athletes. The global pandemic has displaced athletes and cancelled races and now more than ever, our world needs to unite. Our festival allows us to cheer and compete for a shared cause.”
Charles Adamo, PTO Chairman, said “The PTO is pleased to be able to work with the USA Triathlon and Challenge Daytona to support the triathlon community to provide race opportunities for athletes. Since many professional events have been cancelled and some races rescheduled without a professional prize purse, the PTO is committing $1,000,000 of prize money for the PTO Middle Distance World Championship.”
In addition, the PTO Championships on December 6th, the Challenge Daytona Festival weekend will include a wide array of events catering to athletes of all ages and abilities. The event weekend is anticipated to host the following events:
- PTO Middle Distance World Championships
- Sprint and Middle-Distance Triathlons
- Junior Challenge kids’ race
- Pro Am Relay Race
- 5K/10K run/walk events
- Relay categories
- Duathlon and Aquabike events
The top six male and female finishers in each Middle-Distance Triathlon age group will qualify for entry in The Championship, to be held in May 2021 at the x-bionic sphere in Samorin, Slovakia.
Zibi Szlufcik, Challenge Family President of the Board, commented, “While there is still uncertainty associated with the effects of the global pandemic, we know that planning, preparation and hope must continue for the triathlon community. Our teams are busy making the necessary preparations for what we all hope will be a tribute to our sport.”
About Challenge North America
Challenge North America is led by athletes to enhance race experience for athletes and their families. Their mission is to advance the sport with family-friendly, professionally managed and family inspired races for all ages and all race abilities. Challenge North America is extending the legacy of Challenge Family to the North American triathlon market. With the experience of almost 40 full and middle distances in 26 different countries, Challenge North America has founded a new hallmark event at the iconic Daytona International Speedway, home of “The Great American Race”—the Daytona 500, and voted “Best New Race” 2018 by Triathlete Magazine.
About Challenge Daytona
Are you ready to swim, bike, and run at the “World Centre of Racing”? From December 4th- 6th, 2020, Daytona International Speedway will welcome triathletes and triathlon fans from around the world to Challenge Daytona. Named “Best New Race” 2018 by Triathlete Magazine, the entire festival of events will take place at the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex, home of “The Great American Race”—the Daytona 500.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon in the United States, as well as duathlon, aquathon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and para-triathlon. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multi-sport organisation in the world.
In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).
About The Professional Triathletes Organisation
The Professional Triathletes Organisation is a not-for-profit entity representing the body of professional triathletes and seeks to showcase the passion, talents, determination, struggles and achievements of the dedicated professionals who strive to realise the highest levels of the sport and inspire all those who are a part of the triathlon community.
Sundried is an independent UK business that was founded by entrepreneur Daniel Puddick. We encourage the growth of small businesses and want to empower consumers to choose ethical companies rather than defaulting to multi-national corporations and faceless conglomerates.
We spoke with 'sweat expert' and founder of electrolyte supplement brand Precision Hydration Andy Blow to talk about building a successful business off the back of a true passion and learning how to balance work with life and travel.
In a nutshell, what is the story of Precision Hydration? What motivated you to develop the idea?
As an athlete (I used to race triathlon at a decent level) I really suffered in the heat in places like Kona or even in southern Europe. I'd often get severe cramps and drastically under-perform when compared with races in cooler conditions. Eventually, I learned that as well as sweating a lot, I lose a lot of sodium in my sweat (about 2-3 x the average) and once I'd corrected for this in my fluid and salt intake in races it was like night and day for me. I was able to do much, much better in long, hot races from then on.
As I was also working as a sports scientist and coach back then I was very interested in the physiology behind what was going on and started to look into it to see if what I'd learned might also help other athletes. This gradually lead me into the world of sweat testing, sweat testing equipment, and eventually also hydration products. From that process, the business that is now Precision Hydration emerged.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when setting up this business?
Probably a lack of experience or any sort of training in running a 'proper' business. Whilst I'd run a small consultancy business, with a single partner, running a larger operation where we needed to coordinate manufacturing, sales, marketing, staff and invest quite a bit of money to get off the ground was a bit of a baptism of fire.
How do you manage a healthy work-life balance?
I'm not sure I always do. However, a key thing I've learned in the last few years is that balance does not have to mean that everything is 'balanced' all of the time. I enjoy (and find it productive) to work very hard for prolonged periods but I have started to recognise that I then have to take some extended breaks to recover and recharge. In the last 4 years I've taken most of December off each year, for example, and gone abroad with my family and this has worked really well. I have also become a dad twice in the last 5 years and making time for my kids has been an important catalyst to change my lifestyle. My office is also now ~800m from home whereas I used to have quite a long commute and this has really helped.
What's been the most exciting part of developing Precision Hydration?
At first, it was the travel that running the business demanded. We're incredibly fortunate to work with many top professional sports teams in the UK and USA in particular so I get to go on the road quite a lot and see some cool places and meet some amazing people. I've spent a lot of time in LA, New York and most places in-between and that has been a great buzz. However, more recently as the PH team has expanded it is more about the challenge of building a long-term, sustainable business that employs some great people and is a fantastic place to work. That is what excites me now.
What does the future hold for Precision Hydration?
In the next few years, we're planning to do much more research into all aspects of sweat, hydration and performance as it is still an area of science that is not fully understood. We are employing someone full-time in a research role and to work with a top University in the UK to achieve this. The aim is that the outputs from this role will inform how we improve our current products, guidelines for usage and give us ideas for new products in the future as well.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Back yourself, with your own money whenever possible. 'Skin in the game' is critical. Early on, try lots of small things out, discard those that don't work and double down hard on those that do. Listen to the advice of others, but decide what you think you should do and then commit 100% to it. Read a lot (start with 'Shoe Dog' if you've not read it already). Carve out time to just sit and think on a regular basis. Get comfortable with uncertainty. Prioritise customer service.
- Coffee or tea? Coffee, strong with a dash of cream.
- Summer or winter? Summer
- Ocean or mountain? Mountains
- UK or abroad? UK (as long as I get to go abroad a few times a year. And don't get me started on Brexit...)
- Sweet or savoury? Savoury
From racing disasters to great achievements, Ian talks to us about life as a Team GB Age-Group triathlete.
Have you always been into sport?
Yes, even as a child I was competitive, playing football for many years as a goal keeper. I then moved into running in 2011.
What made you decide to enter the world of triathlon?
I moved to triathlon in 2012 to add some variety to my training.
What’s been your favourite race to date and why?
My favourite race so far is the Outlaw Holkham Half. We were blessed with hot weather, the race venue was beautiful, and the event was meticulously well organised.
And your proudest achievement?
Competing in the 2017 European Triathlon Sprint Championships in Austria, and more recently qualifying for the 2019 ITU World Sprint Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Have you ever had any racing disasters/your toughest race yet?
My biggest racing disaster so far was in one of my first races when I crashed my bike at the dismount line due to my shoe coming off the pedal when I removed my foot ready for dismount. Nevertheless, I finished the race, albeit covered in road rash and a torn trisuit!
How do you overcome setbacks?
I carry on and never give up.
What advice do you wish you'd been given before you started competing?
Set your own realistic goals and try not to feel pressurised by others
What are your goals for 2019?
Competing in the ITU World Triathlon Sprint Championships in Lausanne, and the Royal Windsor Triathlon.
Who do you take your inspiration from?
I take my inspiration from Tim Don, an elite triathlete who has been competing for many years and has recently fought back from extreme injury to race at Kona.
What do you like about Sundried and what’s your favourite bit of our kit?
The ethical ethos of Sundried and its devotion to charities, plus the environmentally friendly use of recyclable material.
In July 2017, it was announced that the inaugural Collins Cup will be hosted by The Professional Triathletes Organisation, Challenge Family and Challenge Roth in Germany in 2018. Aiming to follow in the footsteps of the Ryder Cup for golf, the Collins Cup sees teams of triathletes from the USA, Europe, and the rest of the world compete for the title of dominating region in the sport of triathlon.
Each team will send 12 athletes - 6 men and 6 women - who will win points for their team based on their performance, and the team with the most points overall will win. Four-time Ironman champion Chrissie Wellington will be heading up the team for Europe thanks to her world ranking status.
Germany has failed in its bid for the Ryder Cup the past two years, so Challenge Roth CEO Felix Walchshoefer said that they are very excited to be hosting the inaugural Collins Cup. The event is set to be iconic in the world of triathlon and could give a breath of fresh air into a sport that is gaining popularity every day and becoming closely watched as an international sport. The Collins Cup is the first global event of its kind and is sure to bring the world together in their love for the swim, bike, run multisport.
Alice Hector is an athlete ambassador for Sundried and is an elite triathlete. She has been racing as a professional triathlete since 2014 and is coached by Hywel Davies. She is an Ironman 70.3 champion, 2 times Israman champion, and has collected wins and podiums at several 70.3 and full ironman distance races. She is also a freelance copywriter and fitness model who has appeared in a number of fitness and athletics magazines.
Now to add to her plethora of sporting titles, Alice has won the Volcano triathlon in Lanzarote, which is the oldest international triathlon in Spain. She was even able to control it enough in order to conserve energy for Challenge Lisbon the following weekend!
Alice says that this win felt fantastic and she is really looking forward to her next series of races.
From all here at Team Sundried, Good Luck Alice and massive congratulations on a fantastic win!