Triathlon should be allowed by end of May
With positive news the team around the Challenge St. Pölten has addressed its athletes today. The race is planned to take place as scheduled on May 30, 2021. The safety of all involved has top priority. A comprehensive prevention concept, developed together with experts, ministries and the Austrian Triathlon Federation, should ensure a safe and smooth execution.
Since autumn 2020, no triathlon event has taken place in Austria. Numerous big-name events had to be completely canceled in 2020 – including the premiere of Challenge St. Pölten. The desire for triathlon – for a bit of normality – is great. The current situation in Austria and throughout Europe is tense. Nevertheless, the team around Challenge St. Pölten is convinced that a triathlon as an outdoor event can take place at the end of May. Many discussions with experts, considerations and planning have led to this decision. “We feel an incredible support from the city, the state, the authorities, the federation and our partners & sponsors”, says Christoph Schwarz, organizer of Challenge St. Pölten. “Safety is our top priority. Should this be endangered, we will act quickly and take measures.”
The prevention concept is comprehensive: the start-finish area will be cordoned off. Access is only possible for athletes plus an accompanying person. Both must have tested negative. Supporting programs such as the pasta party will be omitted. Instead, the athletes can look forward to a culinary goodie bag from Spar. The after-finish will also be relocated and enlarged. With the Olympiazentrum Niederösterreich the event has an optimal location and a perfect infrastructure. The EXPO will be located outside the restricted area and is therefore also accessible to other visitors and interested people.
The athletes always come first at Challenge Family. “We want to enable our athletes to do the sport they love so much even if it will be under slightly different conditions than usual. For months we have been working behind the scenes on a comprehensive prevention concept with experts from the ministry, the professional association and the national association so that we can run and guarantee a fair and, above all, safe race for our athletes in Lower Austria,” says race director Oliver Laaber. “We are aware of the situation of possibly missing swimming practice and resulting unfeasible training sessions in the past months. Therefore, we can also offer a solution here. All those who do not want to start in the triathlon, we offer the unique opportunity to re-register for the ‘Bike-Run’ competition free of charge.” If, contrary to expectations, the race cannot take place on May 30th, 2021, athletes can expect fair conditions, same as last year.
Matthias Stadler, mayor of the city of St. Pölten, warmly welcomes the efforts of the Bestzeit agency. “I am pleased that a local company is so committed that a sports event can take place at the end of May. We are very happy to support this. Numerous sports have shown what is possible. We want to show that triathlon can also take place here in St. Pölten in this special situation.” Landesrat Jochen Danninger is also enthusiastic about the concept – “After a difficult year – especially for sports – we will soon be facing many great events again in the sports country of Lower Austria, I am firmly convinced of that. One of these showcase events will definitely be Challenge St. Pölten, which, in addition to being a sporting spectacle, will also provide important economic impulses for the entire region,” says Danninger. “As an enthusiastic cyclist, I have the greatest respect for the participants in this event. There is a lot of hard work, sacrifice and consistency before successfully completing a triathlon. But one thing is for sure, the organizing team will offer a great and safe sporting event in the sporting country of Lower Austria. I’m glad that the sport can start again soon now, and I’ll see you at the finish line.”