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Thu 29th Sep 2022
Challenge Bahrain is cancelled
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Thursday 22nd October 2015

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Challenge Bahrain 2015 cancelled one month before race day

Challenge Bahrain, the half-iron distance event scheduled for 20th November today went from hero to zero, with the not unexpected confirmation that the race has been cancelled due to "issues regarding the road traffic safety permit for the race".

Launched to significant fanfare in 2014 including a $500,000 prize purse - and in our own personal experience, delivering on that at both a Pro and Age-Group level - now finds itself in what looks like a "one and done" situation.

Earlier this year the 2015 edition was announced as a night race - but in the last few weeks it became clear that wasn't going to be the case, as reported by Lava Magazine. Frustrations with lack of news or responses of any kind to athlete questions on the Challenge Bahrain Facebook page in recent weeks regarding any news of a bike course made it painfully obvious not all was well, and likely headed in the direction of today's news. While athletes will be refunded registration fees, for many, the far greater impact of travel, transport and accomodation will be far more costly and frustrating - particular less than a month before race day.

Of course, the arrival of Ironman to the region - the new Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship takes place just two weeks later on 5th December (utilising much of last years Challenge Bahrain course) - shows the power of the brand, a battle that Challenge was always going to struggle against.

Challenge Bahrain was due to be the final leg of the Middle East Triple Crown (originally set to comprise Challenge races in Dubai, Oman and Bahrain), but in the same way manner that the Ironman 70.3 World Championships became leg two when Oman was cancelled, we would assume that Ironman 70.3 Bahrain on 5th December will now be the race that Daniela Ryf will need to win to claim the $1million prize offered by His Royal Highness Sheikh Nasser bin Hammed Al Khalifa. If so, that would give her another two weeks recovery from her Ironman World Championships win in Kona...

More news soon.

The statement below was posted onto the Challenge Bahrain Facebook page today.

Dear Registered Athlete,

We regret to inform you that Challenge Bahrain 2015 race will no longer go ahead on the 20th November due to issues regarding the road traffic safety permit for the race.

We would like to thank you for your enthusiasm and willingness to undertake the race. We have worked hard for many months to deliver an exceptional race that followed on from the legacy created by the inaugural Challenge Bahrain in 2014. Challenge is committed to delivering the highest quality triathlons on the best and safest courses. In light of the permit issues, we were unable to do this for Challenge Bahrain 2015 so we felt it was in the interest of the athletes that we cancel the race. We will of course provide refunds of the registration fees to all registered athletes.

We know you have trained hard for this race, made preparations and understand the frustration you are now feeling. To this end Challenge Family will shortly be in direct contact with all athletes with a special offer that will help you continue your Challenge Family Athlete’s Journey and achieve your triathlon goals.

Kind regards,
The team at Challenge Bahrain 2015

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