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Stage set for Challenge Quassy

Posted on: Thursday 4th June 2015

The stage is set for CHALLENGEQUASSY in the USA on June 6-7, where over 1,500 inspirational athletes will swim, bike and run against the backdrop of Quassy Amusement Park and the idyllic Connecticut countryside. The family friendly venue belies the notoriously tough course, which holds legendary status among those drawn to tackle its numerous unforgiving hills.

Every athlete has a story, and Elana Duffy particularly exemplifies the tenacity of body and spirit that defines triathlon.  A retired Army Sergeant First Class, Duffy was wounded by an IED in Iraq and told she would be unable to ride a bike or enjoy many other physical activities.  She set out to prove her doctors wrong and, aboard the new wheels of a Catrike made possible by FDNY 343 Ride and Team RWB NYC, Duffy is ready to roll in Quassy.  Duffy’s participation goes beyond her own athletic goals; she proudly represents Race2Rebuild, a charity founded by athletes to help bring families home following disaster, of which she is a founding member. She is also a member of Team RWB, Official Charity Partner of Challenge Family Americas in the United States.

Duffy will be paced in the race by fellow Race2Rebuild athlete and fellow veteran Danielle Gilbert, one of 10 Race2Rebuild athletes taking part in the weekend’s competition.  The lineup includes R2R Challenge Team ambassador athletes Guilherme Campos, a professional hailing from Italy who will compete in a special Elite division, and accomplished age group athlete, mother of two and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Bridie Hatch.  

Another charitable organization with a significant presence at CHALLENGEQUASSY will be the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (TNT), bringing 22 athletes to the race.  Three of these athletes recently shared their remarkable stories of inspiration on the Challenge Family Americas blog: Haggai Eshed, Senior Manager for Patient Access in TNT’s New York City chapter, racing on behalf of a close friend battling leukemia; Antonela De Bernardo, who, as a young girl, lost her father to cancer and whose mother also battled the disease; and Kevin McGaw, likewise racing to honor his father and continue the fight for everyone facing cancer.

Adding to the weekend’s inspirational impact, CHALLENGEQUASSY will serve as the comeback race for Colleen Alexander.  Alexander was seriously injured in a cycling accident in October, 2011 when she was struck by a 30-ton freight truck.  With deep determination, she has worked to heal and strengthen her broken body and is elated at the opportunity to compete once again.  Watch for Alexander in the swim leg of the Olympic distance relay.

CHALLENGEQUASSY will also feature an Elite wave, open to professional athletes as well as age group competitors with proven qualifying times.  In addition to Guilherme Campos (ITA), pro Jeremy Howard (USA) will toe the line on race day.

The competition at CHALLENGEQUASSY takes place over two days, with an Olympic distance triathlon (.9-mile swim, 25.7-mile bike, 6.3-mile run), which serves at the USAT Northeast 2015 Age Group Regional Championship, on Saturday followed by the marquee event, a Half distance triathlon (1.2-mile swim, 56.1-mile bike, 13.1-mile run) on Sunday.  Nearly 50 athletes will also vie for bragging rights in “The Challenge” category, racing both the Olympic and Half distance individual triathlons.

Triathlon fans are invited to follow the CHALLENGEQUASSY race weekend action on Twitter @Challenge_Amer and via

Posted in Latest News, News Archive


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