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A weekend of celebration on tap at Challenge Pocono Mountains

Posted on: Friday 14th August 2015

Olympic and Half distance triathlon racing join in a celebration of the great outdoors as CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS kicks off on August 16th.  The 2015 CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS, taking place primarily in eastern Pennsylvania’s Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, is honored to partner with the National Park Service as a part of the NPS’ 50th Year Anniversary celebration series of events.

After a refreshing swim on the FINIS swim course in the Delaware River, athletes will enjoy a scenic bike course, the entirety of which is contained within the DWGNRA, a 70,000-acre protected natural recreation area.  CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS competitors will ride securely on the completely closed course and enjoy the challenge of tackling the rolling hills on both the bike and the run.  Among the most visited of the National Park Service properties, the DWGNRA provides breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains, the Delaware River and the river valley, thus offering a picture perfect backdrop for athletes and spectators alike.  A fantastic finish at the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort will cap each athlete’s personal accomplishment in true CHALLENGEFAMILY style.

The race’s appeal extends beyond a celebration of one of the NPS’ most revered properties; the local community also rallies behind the event due to the positive economic impact it has generated in the past (as Rev3 Pocono Mountains).  The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau reports that the 2014 event generated $1.23 million in revenue in the area, and with an even larger field of athletes and their families in attendance, that amount will surely rise in 2015.  Furthering the community support of the race weekend and the overall family-friendly feel, the Pocono YMCA serves as sponsor for the Kids’ Zone in the race expo.

Featuring in the field at CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS are a number of athletes representing Race2Rebuild, a charity founded by athletes to help bring families home following disaster. R2R Challenge Team Ambassador Tyler Saas, whose first-hand experience rebuilding homes was documented in a recent Challenge Family Americas blog post, and his wife pro triathlete Darbi Roberts will both toe the line.  Following the Pocono Mountains race, Saas and Roberts will join the R2R team in New Jersey for another weekend of charitable activity, first racing the Belmar Chase 5K and then rebuilding a Hurricane Sandy-damaged home for a family in Seaside Heights.  The drawn-out process of being displaced from their home nearly three years ago has been a source of tremendous stress on the family–a stress that R2R seeks to relieve through their dedicated work. (To race, volunteer or both with R2R, visit www.race2rebuild.org/2015-events.)

Participation at CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS has nearly doubled from 2014, when athletes from 29 different states and five countries were represented on the start line.  A sell-out field is expected this August – athletes, family members and triathlon fans eager to share a fun-filled swim, bike and run adventure in one of the National Park Service’s true gems, the DWGNRA.  In fact, less than 50 entries remain to this spectacular event (register at www.challenge-pocono.com/register). All CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS athletes will receive a special gift of a blueseventy Brick Bag. Additionally, they’ll be eligible to poke fun at their own fashion failures during the blueseventy Worst Wetsuit Contest (3:00 p.m. Saturday), earning a chance to win one of two new blueseventy Reaction Fullsuits.

CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS is indebted to the support of a full roster of sponsors including PowerBar, Gatorade, FINIS, blueseventy, Trisports.com, TriBike Transport, Peluso Open Water, Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau, Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, Vertical Earth Mountain Sports, ShawneeCraft Brewing Company and Pocono YMCA.

Follow all the CHALLENGEPOCONOMOUNTAINS race weekend action on Twitter @Challenge_Amer and via www.challenge-pocono.com/live.


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