New Albany News

New Albany will host July triathlon series

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This summer, New Albany will host multiple triathlons sponsored by an international organization called Challenge Family.

The series of triathlons, called Challenge Day New Albany, will be Saturday and Sunday, July 26-27.

"We're forming a new template for an all-encompassing event, with a junior event for kids, a women's challenge and our feature event on Sunday," race director Shannon Kurek said.

Kurek said Challenge Family wanted to add an event in central Ohio and was interested in reviving what was known as the Giant Eagle Multisport Festival, which ran for three years with Giant Eagle's sponsorship.

He said the festival was held in downtown Columbus; Challenge Family sought another location after organizers determined they wanted to establish a two-day event.

"We wanted a community to reach out and join us in in this venture and embrace Challenge Family and New Albany did that, with Healthy New Albany stepping up to be our official partner and host partner," Kurek said. "Healthy New Albany is a great organization that literally is there to promote health and wellness within their community."

Kristen Ferguson, marketing director for Healthy New Albany, said representatives of the nonprofit organization are "excited to be the host partner for that event, so that we can help showcase our city, highlight restaurants and hotels and get our local community involved."

Kurek said New Albany "was a perfect match" for Challenge Family.

"New Albany is a great community and is very particular with regards to their brand," Kurek said. "They don't have a bunch of special events coming to their town because they are very particular.

" I think the international appeal and prestige that comes with Challenge Family events really was a good marriage for both the brands."

The two-day triathlon series will begin Saturday, July 26, with the Challenge Women's Triathlon and Junior Challenge Kidz Triathlon in downtown New Albany.

The women's triathlon will include a 250-yard swim in the Plain Township Aquatic Center, a seven-mile bicycle ride and a two-mile run finishing on Market Street.

Kurek said the women's race is perfect for beginners, featuring swimming in a pool instead of a lake.

The children's triathlon will include a swim in the same pool, a bicycle ride on a course closed to traffic and a run finishing on Market Street.

Kurek said the children's event will have three divisions: ages 10 and younger, ages 11 to 15 and ages 16 to 19.

The youngest children will complete a 100-yard swim, a three-mile bike ride and a half-mile run.

The division for ages 11-15 will complete a 200-yard swim, a six-mile bike ride and a one-mile run.

The oldest children will complete a 400-yard swim, a 12-mile bike ride and two-mile run.

The events on Sunday, July 27, begin at Alum Creek State Park and will include an Olympic-distance triathlon, a half triathlon and a triathlon relay.

The Olympic-distance triathlon will include a 1.5-km swim, a 40-km bicycle ride and a 10-km run.

It will begin with a swim in Alum Creek and continue with a bicycle tour through eastern Delaware County, Sunbury and Licking County, with the finish back in downtown New Albany. The run will begin in Market Square and proceed along New Albany's leisure trails through residential neighborhoods.

The half triathlon will include a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bicycle ride and a 13.1-mile run.

The triathlon relay will pair cyclists with swimmers and runners to compete as a team, Kurek said.

"We're working with a local masters swim team, running clubs and the local New Albany cycling clubs to pool athletes together to be in the relay," he said. "We'll put them together with a couple of other athletes to participate.

"It's something that will be New Albany-specific, keeping it in the community as a way for them to meet new people and compete with some new people."

Kurek said a family-friendly walk and run also could be added Friday, July 25, which would make it a true family event, "available for anyone to participate."

Event registration opened online Feb. 13 at challenge-family.com.

Kurek said the organization had collected 200 entries from 12 states and two countries as of last week and organizers anticipate 1,500 to 2,000 people will attend Challenge Day New Albany.

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