Challenge Family is continuing to strengthen its position as ‘the quality leader in global long distance triathlon’ with the appointment of a new management team to develop further growth in North, South and Central America.
The Challenge Americas team will oversee the region’s 14 full and half distance Challenge Family triathlons, led by newly appointed CEO, Steven Gintowt. Gintowt joins from his previous role of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Competitor Group where he oversaw the company’s expansion into Europe and helped grow the business’s event arm.
Jim Garfield’s role as Commercial Director is another new appointment to the Challenge team. Garfield is responsible for sponsorship sales and activation and is an award-winning marketing strategist as well as a former adventure-racing athlete and most recently was Executive Brand Builder for Life Time Fitness.
Rev3’s Eric Opdyke rounds out the team as Head of Operations, responsible for co-ordinating the operations across all of the region’s events and overseeing maintenance of brand standards.
The executive team is supported by the Challenge Americas Board, headed by Challenge Family CEO Zibi Szlufcik and Rev3’s Charlie Patten and also includes Murphy Reinschreiber and Eric Opdyke. The board brings many years of industry experience and connections and will provide strategic guidance and ensure the continuation of high quality event delivery as the series expands.
Gintowt said the new structure marked the start of an exciting new era for Challenge Family that would see it strengthen its position in the Americas, delivering a new standard of long course triathlon as it introduced new races and built on the success of existing events.
“Challenge Family has fast earned a reputation for providing an outstanding race experience that is inclusive of all,” he said. “Rev3 shared the same qualities and now we combine the best elements of two highly respected brands to deliver a high quality experience to the first time and experienced long distance triathlete.”
“I’m proud and happy to have those individuals joining the Challenge Family team, said Zibi Szlufcik. “Steve, Eric and Jim with the support of Charlie and Murphy as a board members are industry experts with endless experience and knowledge of triathlon and endurance sport. They share the same passion and Challenge Family will deliver even more commitment to athletes, industry partners, media, hosting cities and all races across the Americas.”
Challenge Family currently features three full distance and 11 half distance triathlons throughout the Americas region – Challenge Penticton and Challenge St Andrews in Canada; Challenge Ixtapa and Challenge San Gil Queretaro in Mexico; Challenge Florianopolis and Challenge Maceio in Brazil; and Challenge Knoxville, Challenge Quassy, Challenge Williamsburg, Challenge Atlantic City, Challenge Pocono Mountains, Challenge Maine, Challenge Rancho Cordova and Challenge Florida in the USA.
The Challenge Family series of triathlons features 44 full and half distance races around the world, including the world’s largest long distance triathlon – Challenge Roth in Germany. The birthplace of the Challenge Family, Challenge Roth now features over 5,500 athletes and 220,000 spectators and is home to both world records held by Andreas Raelert (GER) and Chrissie Wellington (GBR).
Since 2002, races throughout Europe, UK, Australasia, Asia, North America and South America have joined Roth. Together they aim to provide athletes with ‘a new experience of long distance racing with a strong focus on athlete and spectator experience, giving back to the community while respecting the legacy of sport and being committed to its continued growth.’