We don’t have to tell you once more about the bizarre times we are living in. The coronavirus still keeps everybody busy. Of course we are in almost daily contact with governments, health organizations and other involved parties about organizing our race in September. So far, so good: it looks like measures appear to be eased in the upcoming weeks and we still have green lights to organize events. In case of any changes, you will be the first one we will inform!
With the Dutch National Championships Duathlon on it’s way – on April 11th this Championship will be organized in Almere – National Duathlon coach Armand van der Smissen is looking forward to a great race, but also a step further. “This is a nice step towards the World Championships, which will be held in Almere in September. Such an important race week in The Netherlands, that’s the best there is.”
For both races Van der Smissen is hoping for excitement. “As a coach I always believe it’s important that there will be a strong field of athletes. Whether it’s pros or Age Groupers: it doesn’t really make any difference. That’s why it’s also good to know that the National Championships Duathlon will immediately be the qualifying moment for the World Championships Duathlon.”
‘Join the World Championships with as large a team as possible’
The Dutch qualification requirements for the elite may be slightly lower than in other years, but according to Van der Smissen there is a very clear reason for this. “This World Championships in Almere forms ‘home races’ so our approach is to join with as large a team as possible. I think we have a moral duty to support this event. But I also think that we have to show ourselves the best we can and our athletes must be able to race at the front.”
Van der Smissen is really looking forward to the World Championships. “This is the best promotion for the sport. These are the races where you want to be part of. I already know a number of elite athletes of whom you might not expect it immediately, who are very motivated to be at their best in Almere. I like this.”
‘Amazing things can happen in Almere’
Van der Smissen also thinks a step further and tries everything to enthuse as many elite athletes as possible for the World Championships. “I am thinking about athletes who are strong at stayer triathlons, such as Marco van der Stel, Quinty Schoens, Maya Kingma and Donald Hillebregt. Of course I know that for a large number of these athletes the Olympic Games are the main goal, but of course I would like to have them at the start of the World Championships as well. They would have an enormous added value for the Dutch team. I’m sure amazing things can happen in Almere.”
Dankzij de gloednieuwe CHALLENGEFAMILY Awards die een paar weken geleden werden geïntroduceerd, mag CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM zeggen dat het de beste Finishline Party heeft én het beste After-Race Food. Atleten van over de hele wereld stemden voor de awards en kwamen tot de conclusie dat CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM het beste is wat je op dit gebied kunt vinden.
Hoogstwaarschijnlijk herinneren we ons allemaal één van de meest spectaculaire finishes in de geschiedenis van CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM. De Britse Heather Holt kwam de finishlijn – na ruim veertien uur – wild dansend over. Dit werd gefilmd en de video ging daarna direct viral. Inmiddels is de video ruim 500.000 keer gezien en de teller loopt nog steeds. CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM trekt ieder jaar ruim 30.000 toeschouwers, die tot de laatste finisher blijven aanmoedigen. Duizenden van hen waren getuige van dit magische moment.
Daarnaast wint CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM ook de Award voor ‘Best After Race Food’. Atleten van over de hele wereld waarderen de kwaliteit van het voedsel en de kwantiteit aan keuze. ,,We zijn zeer trots op deze
awards”, aldus Race Director Richard Belderok. ,,Ons team, met meer dan 700 vrijwilligers, werkt ieder jaar zo hard als mogelijk om een onvergetelijke race neer te zetten. Voor ons draait het allemaal om de atleet. Het behoeft dus
geen uitleg dat we het geweldig vinden als atleten ons dan belonen voor ons werk. We zijn niet alleen trots, maar vooral ook heel erg dankbaar.”
Hieronder vind je alle awards die zijn uitgedeeld:
Best Race Venue: CHALLENGEGRANCANARIA
Best Swim Course: CHALLENGETAIWAN
Best Bike Course: CHALLENGEROTH
Best Run Course: CHALLENGEPEGUERA-MALLORCA
Best fans/crowd: CHALLENGEROTH
Best Pasta Party: THECHAMPIONSHIP
Best Finishline Party: CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM
Best New Race: CHALLENGECAPETOWN
Best After-Race Food: CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM
Most Eco-Friendly: CHALLENGEHEILBRONN
Most Family-Friendly: CHALLENGEWANAKA
Race of the Year: CHALLENGEPEGUERA-MALLORCA
With the 2020 ITU Multisport World
Championships, of course, athletes from all over the world will come to Almere.
During the upcoming months we will look forward to the World Championships with
various team managers. Today we’ll kick of with Vincent Ochieng of Team Kenya.
Team Kenya is already guaranteed to come
with fifty athletes, but Ochieng hopes that there will be more duathletes and triathletes
who will qualify for Almere. In February there will be some qualifiers again. “50
athletes: it’s an amazing amount already. For comparison: this year we went to
Pontevedra with a group of 26 athletes. Triathlon is really getting more and
more popular every day in Kenya.”
It’s quite logical, because apart from the
fact that triathlon is a beautiful sport, for many Kenyans it’s almost
impossible to make career into the even more popular sport of running there. “For
example three Kenyans are allowed to run the Olympic marathon, but here we have
about three hundred runners who reach the Olympic limit. Duathlon and triathlon
gives us a new career path then.”
Since the success in Pontevedra – Kenya did
win a gold Age Group 20-24 medal duathlon for example – the sport is getting
even more popular. “Local people saw this and it got their attention then.
This is good for the sport and we’re aiming to win even more medals in Almere.
We are also busy setting up a new triathlon federation, so that we can get more
support from the government.”
This is needed because duathlon and
triathlon can be very expensive sports, especially for a big group of workless
Kenyans. ,,We have mid-class Age Groupers, but also people without a job. You
can imagine they can’t afford to buy a bicycle or a ticket for the World
Championships. We are busy setting up crowdfundings for this.”
Our Long Distance Open Series is sold out: we reached our maximum capacity of athletes already!
Registration for the Open Series is still possible, but then you will be added to our ‘waiting list’. 60 days before the race there will be some extra spots added to the race, but not sure how many!
Of course you can compete at the World Championships serie! Registration goes via your national federation then!
The 2020 ITU Multisport World Championships will take place in Almere from September 4th to September 13th.
In this newsletter:
– World Championships races
– Open races
– Middle Distance 2020
– Recommended Challenge Family Middle Distance races!
– Recommended Middle Distance in The Netherlands!
World Championship races: registration via your National Triathlon Federation
Registration for one or more World Championships races can only be done via your national triathlon federation. In some cases there are additional qualification requirements. In case of the NTB (Dutch Triathlon Federation), the qualification requirements are described here: https://www.triathlonbond.nl/meedoen/agegroupers/
The ITU Multisport World Championships will contain 6 World Championships races:
Sprint Duathlon (5k – 20k – 2.5k)
Standard Duathlon (10k – 40k – 5k)
Cross Triathlon (1K – 29.5 K – 7.5K) and Junior (500m – 9.5K – 2.5K)
Aquathlon (1K – 5K)
Aquabike (3.8K – 180K)
Long Distance Triathlon (3.8K – 180K – 42.2K)
Open Races Challenge Almere-Amsterdam 2020
In addition to the World Championships races, we organise a number of open races as well. As these races aren’t World Championships, no qualification requirements are needed for these open races and the registration does take place directly via our organisation. Your National Triathlon Federation has nothing to do with these open series races. Down below you’ll find all the open series races, for which registration has opened right away via https://app.lap.io/event/2020-multisport-almere-amsterdam-open:
September 5th Open Sprint Duathlon (5k – 20k – 2.5k)
September 10th Junior Challenge (0.38k – 18k – 4.2k)
September 10th Business / Family-Relay (3 times: 0.38k – 6k – 2k)
September 11th Senior- / No-Limit Challenge
September 12th Long Distance Triathlon (3.8k – 180k – 42,195k)
September 12th Long Distance Triathlon TriTogether (3.8k – 180k – 42,195k with 3 team members)
Please note the conditions below:
-The Open Series Long Distance race has a limited number of entries (max. 200 individual + TriTogether, so beware this will sell out quickly!).
-Because registration for the World Championships races are taken care of via your National Triathlon Federation and Open Races by us, you can’t switch your chosen race after registration. Make sure to pick the right one in advance!
No Middle Distance 2020
Due to additional requirements for the World Championships Long Distance and Aquabike, we didn’t find any possibility to organize a Middle Distance in 2020 as well. In 2021, when our ‘regular’ CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM returns, our Middle Distance is back on our scheduled calendar. If you want to race any other Middle Distance in 2020, there are plenty of options. We highly recommend you the following races down below!
Recommended Middle Distances 2020!
Instead of our CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM Middle Distance, you can choose for a lot of other very challenging races! For example the iconic CHALLENGEGERAARDSBERGEN (see picture below) in Belgium. During this race you will cross the world famous ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’ twice! But also CHALLENGEHERNING in Denmark (very close to Legoland!) and CHALLENGEHEILBRONN, in Germany, are highly recommended!
June 7th Challenge Geraardsbergen
June 13th Challenge Herning
June 21st Challenge Heilbronn
Recommended Middle Distance in The Netherlands!
Of course we also like to see you at the start of TRI AMSTERDAM (make sure to check the amazing video below!). This race will take place on June 21st and our organization team is closely involved. This high quality race will of course take place in our amazing capital Amsterdam. You will swim in ‘de Amstel’ (most famous river of the city), bike through spectacular, typical Dutch landscapes, run through the city and have a nice finish next to the Amstel again. Registration is open already!
June 21st TRI AMSTERDAM
If you register before January 1st and use the code ‘CAA2020-MIDDLE’ at your registration, you will receive a free ‘Triathletes Never Quit’ hoodie!
The Executive Board of ITU has met during two days in the Gold Coast, in Queensland, Australia, just ahead of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final to debate and decide on several important issues, including the 2019 competition calendar, the new services for National Federations or the cities that will host the 2021 and 2022 Grand Final. After reviewing the bids of the different cities interested on hosting our mayor events, the ITU Executive Board has decided to award the 2021 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final to Bermuda, with Abu Dhabi hosting the Grand Final in 2022. The Board also discussed the 2020 edition of the Multisport Championships, and decided to award it to Almere, in the Netherlands.
“I am really satisfied of the intense work we have done, especially on two main aspects for our future as an organization: the cities willing to host one of our major events, and the development programmes and the way we work with the National Federations in order to continue to push our sport and bring it to the next level of participation and engagement”, said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado.
“I feel really confident that with the work that we have been doing during last year, and the commitment from all the Board members and ITU staff, we will continue to push our organization even further. We do have more presence and impact now on both the Olympic and the Paralympic movement, our financial statements are on track, we still are a role model on good governance and we have our Strategic Plan in place and setting up the path for the next few years, so we can proudly say that 2018 has been an excellent season by all means for us”, she said.
The Board agreed that the three strong and sustainable Organising Committees awarded with major events in the upcoming years –Bermuda, Abu Dhabi and Almere- will guarantee the level of excellence required for the pinnacle of ITU’s events, and is convinced that we will work together in order to continue growing our sport.
One of the main topics of the Executive Board meeting was the review of the competition structure for the upcoming years, trying to balance events across the world and extend the calendar to give as many opportunities as we can to all athletes to compete near their continents. The Board members also reviewed the 2019 calendar, that will be presented to Congress.
With a changing environment and to ensure the global leadership of ITU within the sports community, the Board continued working on the good governance practices and the Strategic Plan for 2017-2020.
After the reports from the Continental Presidents on their activities for the last 12 months, the Board also reviewed the recently created National Federations Services department, to establish and maintain continuous communication and constructive working relationship with all the National Federations, to help all our members to develop triathlon within their own territories. A new concept of Development events has been approved in this regard.
The Board also approved the 2018 budget to be presented for approval to Congress. Next meeting of the Board will be in November in Luxor (Egypt).
With the allocation of the European Championship Long Distance in 2019, the organization of CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM is adjusting its race schedule slightly compared to previous editions. For example, the Junior Challenge moves one day forward and the races on Sunday will be moved. This gives extra focus to Saturday, when the European Championship Long Distance is held but also the very popular Middle Distance.
According to Race Director Richard Belderok, this new schedule is not only related to the European Championship, but just as much with the World Championship that will be organized a year later, in 2020. ,,We will organize six different races in a week then and these races will be hosted on two different locations”, referring to the Esplanade but also the Kemphaan. ,,We try to make both 2019 and 2020 event schedules as identical as possible.”
This means that this year – 2019 – the Junior Challenge will be held on Thursday 12nd September: one day earlier than usual. Usually this race was always held on Fridays. On Thursday 12th 2019 also the Business Relay will take place, a race that normally always was held on Sundays. This year this race will end with a big party on Thursday evening.
The No Limit & Senior Challenge will still be held on Friday 13th September, but there will be no other races on this day. ,,This allows us to start the athlete briefings earlier and gives us even more time and attention for the athletes who will start the Long Distance or Middle Distance on Saturday”, explains Belderok. ,,And this also allows participants to check in their bikes earlier and for longer time on Friday, the day before race day. This will enable us to improve the quality of our race. Of course there will be a pasta party on Friday and triathletes will get the opportunity to test our swimming course.”
Saturday, 14th September in 2019, remains unchanged in terms of schedule. Then both the Long Distance (this year the European Championship) and the Middle Distance will take place. On Sunday 15th September there will be no Business Relay – which has been moved to Thursday – and the Eredivisie final, which has been held in Almere for a number of years, will be removed from the race schedule. ,,We will use the Sunday for the award ceremony: especially in the case of an European Championship we think that there should be full attention for that. But we also organize a big party to thank all of our volunteers.”
This year, the organization of CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM is organizing the National Championships Cross Triathlon on 8th September as well. ,,So this year we already have several races, spread over several days.”
It’s a big name in the Dutch Cross Triathlon scene: Joep Staps became National Champion Cross Triathlon in 2018 and is therefore the ideal person to be the first athlete to test the Dutch Championships (2019) and World Championships (2020) bike track for Cross Triathlon. He has already done so and his first reaction speaks volumes: ,,This is amazing. It’s really a very attractive course.”
In 2019 Challenge Almere-Amsterdam of course organizes the Dutch Championships Cross Triathlon in September and one year later, in 2020, the ITU Multisport World Championships will follow. Part of this World Championships will be the Cross Triathlon. Staps is already looking forward to both championships and was allowed to explore the bike course last week. He rode both the 7 kilometers loop over Braambergen, including 200 altitude meters per lap, and the 7 flatter but technical kilometers over De Kemphaan. ,,The course is not only cool, but also varied. The track builders have really done their best”, Staps says in a first reaction.
Already after 200 meters of biking he called the course ‘cool’. ,,And that feeling has only become bigger now that I’ve been allowed to ride the whole course. You expect Almere to be flat, but the track has big differences in height. It has steep, fast and technical parts. This is definitely a course that makes it very hard to get into your rhythm. That makes it nice but challenging.”
In any case, according to Staps, it is a course that suits him well. ,,I don’t get scared of it, but I really want to race it. I will definitely come to Almere to defend my National title and hope to be back for the World Championships as well.”