SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2017

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January 2017 38 Catulatis! 2017 Readers' Choice Award Winners cont. WISCONSIN cont. Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau WYOMING Casper Area CVB Gillette-Campbell County CVB SPECIAL FEATURE: Awards & Recognition Issue When Joanne Cogle moved from Hawaii to Columbus a few years ago, she appreciated the opportunities the city offered for running, swimming and cycling, as well as the locals' appreciation for the sports. From that, she soon got the idea to create the Chattahooch- ee Challenge Race Series. "We have a great river and a complement- ing river walk, so it was a no-brainer to create an event that combined them all," Cogle said. "I thought it would be a great addition to the community, which was already comprised of fans of the individual sports themselves." To make sure all individuals — wheth- er veterans in the sport or rookies — can participate, the Series features three different distances of races. The half race features a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run. The Olympic race has a two loop 500-meter swim, a 23-mile bike ride and a 10K run. The sprint race includes a 400-meter swim down river, 12-mile bike ride and a 5K run. The sprint also includes a highlight of the annual event: it starts with a water slide entrance into the river and ends with a water slide. "We want to make sure that everyone can be involved and that it's family friendly and fun," Cogle said. "Our goal was, and continues to be, to make it friendly to all ages and ath- letic abilities. It's meant to appeal to runners of all experience levels." The event, which is sanctioned by USA Triathlon, has helped put Columbus on the map as a triathlon mecca. The Series brings out hundreds of volunteers to help each year, and it draws well over 1,000 participants between the three different races. "The community has been amazing with their support and willingness to get behind the vision of this event," Cogle said. "We're excited about 2017." n Chattahoochee Challenge Race Series Joanne Cogle, USA Triathlon Coach/ USA Triathlon Race Director Columbus, GA

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