CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM organizes the oldest long distance triathlon of Europe on 9 September 2017. The European Triathlon Union (ETU) and CHALLENGEFAMILY have granted Almere the European Championship. Dutch athletes, however, also have a chance to be crowned as Dutch Champions during this classic race. The long distance triathlon consists of a 3,8 km swim course in the lake Weerwater, 180 km cycle course through the polder of Flevoland, and a 42,2 km run course around the Weerwater. Jan Raphael (GER, time: 08:03:43) and Camille Deligny (FRA, time: 09:18:15) won the race in 2016. Since 1983, the start and finish of this renowned triathlon are located in Almere, and the organization notices a rise in popularity of the sport in recent years. At this moment, over 1.300 athletes have already registered for the long or middle distance races; the same number of athletes that actually participated in the races last year. The organization also receives many registrations for the other races held during the CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM weekend. Athletes can register for this 37th edition until 31 August (or when full capacity is reached) via http://www.challenge-almere.com
The triathlon weekend takes place on 8, 9 and 10 September 2017. The weekend traditionally starts on Friday with the Dutch Championship for students (Junior Challenge) and the Challenge4All. Saturday will evolve around the main event: the long distance triathlon. Athletes can also participate in the middle distance triathlon and TriTogether teams on both distances. On Sunday, teams will compete in spectaculair short sprint triathlons during the RABO Business Relay and the finals of the Lotto Premier League. See http://www.challenge-almere.com for more information about the program and possibilities to compete.
European Championship Long Distance Triathlon on course below sea level
In the early morning, athletes swim 3,8 km in the lake Weerwater right in the city center of Almere. Continuing by bike, the athletes will cycle 180 km through the polders of Flevoland which are situated 4,5 meters below sea level. The route will take them through Almere, via the Oostvaardersdijk (with a view on the skyline of Amsterdam) to Lelystad, via the Knardijk alongside the northern boundary of the nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen and straight through the polder to Zeewolde. The cycle route ends at the Esplanade square in Almere from which the athletes start the last part of the triathlon by running a marathon (42,2 km) around the Weerwater. The finish is situated at the Esplanade square: a perfect location for supporters to cheer on their favorite athletes. Furthermore, supporters can join the many hotspots along the course to celebrate together with other fans and triathlon clubs. See http://www.challenge-almere.com for an overview of the courses and possibilities for supporters to follow the race live.
After the Hawaii triathlon, the CHALLENGEALMERE-AMSTERDAM (also known as the Holland Triathlon) is the oldest triathlon of the world on the classic distance. Almere is the ultimate triathlon city with a large triathlon club, the regional training center for young talents, the Dutch Championship triathlon for schools, and many individual athletes. The city of Almere and the province of Flevoland are renowned for their location beneath the sea level, which means athletes are competing 4,5 meters below the sea. The long straight roads in the polder and the windmills create an unique experience for especially the foreign athletes. Almere is located 30 km north-east of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.