El Doñana Challenge, a long-distance triathlon organized by the Andalusian Regional Government's Department of Education and Sports, will celebrate its twelfth edition on Saturday September 25 in the town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz), after not taking place in person last year, due to COVID-19.
The last edition was held virtually and also had a high participation.
The Doñana Challenge, one of the toughest endurance events held annually in Andalusia and which is already consolidated in the calendar of national triathletes, is a test made up of three different modalities: cycling, swimming and running.
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How is the Doñana Challenge different?
The difference with other triathlon events, and one of its singularities, is the order and distance of disciplines.
The other differentiating aspect, and that gives its name to the event, is its route, as it passes through places and environments of singular beauty and sensitivity, such as the mouth of the Guadalquivir and Doñana national park.
The Doñana Challenge originated in 2009. In those first editions, we bet on the participation of top-level international athletes, according to the prizes and registration prices, and with a route that, added to the three disciplines, was 200 kilometers.
However, and after not being able to be held in 2012, other objectives were sought from 2013, considering a more affordable route from the sporting and organizational point of view and betting on the increase in the participation of amateur athletes.
This format has been maintained since then, only with a change in the cycling route in 2016, which went from 90 to 100 km, with the inclusion of the passage through the town of Trebujena, being the one that has been maintained to date.
The good reception among the athletes and the lesser difficulty of organizing this format, made this event settle in the annual sports calendar and the participation was growing year after year to almost 500 athletes, also being a quality growth, by also increasing the proportion of federated athletes and from outside Andalusia.
Changes for the 2021 edition
This has been the case until this new edition, in which the route undergoes some changes again, such as a slight reduction in the distances of the cycling and running segments.
- The cycling segment will go from 100 to 80 km.
- The foot race will go from 30 to 20 km
In addition to the limitation to participation in the test to 250 triathletes for COVID prevention and to be able to maintain the best health security measures.
Check the official circuits
Inscriptions sold out
The latter, together with the non-celebration of the event the previous year, caused the registrations - which opened on July 1 - to be sold out in just forty-five minutes, which gives an idea of the interest that the Doñana Challenge continues to arouse twelve years after its first edition.
Without a doubt, the main characteristic of this event is the privileged environment in which it takes place. Run down the virgin beach of the Doñana National Park It is an experience that is not available to other sports events. 20 kilometers of nature; water and sand in front of the physical and mental resistance of the triathlete is the culmination of the competition.
All these characteristics, together with a high degree of commitment on the part of the organization for the care and safety of the athlete, has meant that the last editions of the Doñana Challenge were valued very positively by the participants themselves, with 97% of them indicating that they would recommend the event to other people and 98% who would be willing to repeat the experience.
For more information on the event and regulations, you can consult the official website:
The test is organized by the Ministry of Education and Sports, through the Public Company for the Management of Tourism and Sports of Andalusia, with the support of the Andalusian Triathlon Federation, and the collaboration of the municipalities of Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Trebujena and the Doñana Natural Area.