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UPDATE: Weymouth confirmed as host of popular triathlon event
WEYMOUTH has been named as the venue to host one of the country's biggest triathlon events.
The news, revealed by the Echo yesterday, was confirmed this morning by the team at Challenge UK.
It is set to provide a huge boost to the resort's economy after more than 1,300 people took part in this year's event in Henley-on-Thames.
The Challenge Weymouth race will take place on September, 14 2014, opening with a sea swim in Weymouth Bay.
This will be followed by a rolling bike course through the local countryside before a run through the town.
Hints revealed by organisers about the 'top secret destination' included images of beach donkeys and deckchairs to fishing boats and a picturesque harbour.
Challenge Weymouth will include both long and half distance triathlon events, as well as a new Challenge Kids event.
Hundreds of people took to the Facebook page to hedge their bets that the event is being held in Weymouth.
More than 900 athletes have already pre-registered for next year's triathlon.
Alan Rose, Challenge UK race director, said: “Weymouth is the perfect destination for Challenge UK, and we are really excited and proud to be able to make this announcement.
“The local area is quite simply, stunning and we cannot think of a better location.
“Challenge Weymouth will offer a competitive and fast course.
“We will be hosting both long and half distance triathlon events, as well as a new Challenge kids event – there really is something for all the family.
“It is certainly one to pencil in for athletes who want to beat their best in 2014.
He added: “With over 900 athletes already pre-registered, we are confident that this will be a popular event.”
Coun Ian Bruce, spokesman for tourism and culture at Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said: “We are very pleased that Challenge UK have chosen Weymouth as the ideal venue for this prestigious event, and we look forward to working with organisers Just Racing UK.”
He added: “Weymouth has a great event and sporting heritage which has been enhanced by the triathlon events run by local organisations.
“The date is perfect for our aim to extend our festivals and events season and will provide a boost to the local economy as well as a fantastic viewing opportunity for locals and visitors.
“We look forward to working with our local triathlon and sporting clubs and putting the area on the global triathlon calendar."
Felix Walchshöfer, Challenge family CEO, said the new UK location was sure to prove popular with both British and international athletes.
He said: “Weymouth is quintessential English seaside culture at its best.
“It is a perfect fit for Challenge Family with its outstanding course, welcoming community and plenty for athletes, friends and family to enjoy before and after the race.
"As a pure coincidence, Weymouth is where I spent many weeks as an exchange student and I’m very much looking forward to revisiting this beautiful area.”
Thousands of racers lined up in Henley-On-Thames last month to race either half or full iron distance.
Registration is now open for those that have pre-registered. All you need to do is enter your information when prompted to complete the registration process.
General entries will open tomorrow.
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