The KYOCERA Beach Challenge triathlon is the oldest cross triathlon in the Netherlands. It most certainly is not your basic triathlon, but a constant and individual battle against the elements and the inner demons. A real test of strength and stamina, in the beautiful environment of the Dutch beach and dune area. And if you think that ‘flat’ equals ‘easy’, think again! Appropriately, a local newspaper characterized the first edition of the KYOCERA Beach Challenge: “Now thís is a triathlon“!
Since we believe that a sports event at a prominent location as Kijkduin should be broadly based, the event has evolved into an accessible beach sports festival with activities for all ages. The Beach Run, Kids Challenge and sea swim are now widely known and well attended. The main event is still the cross triathlon, which presents new challenges each year as the natural playing field of sea, beach and dunes changes over time.
The first leg in this offroad challenge is a swim in the North Sea, with a ‘Le Mans’ style start from the beach. In the race series, the swim leg is divided into two parts, which are separated by a short running stretch on the beach. The participants in the short series swim only one lap. The big opponents in this leg are the tidal currents, the surf and high waves.
Shaken up by the swim, the athletes continue with mountain biking on an off-road course leading them through the dunes and over horse trails. During the bike leg, the contestants face ever present winds and loose sands.
And when this is all done, the challenge still isn’t over. To top the whole thing off, the athletes will have to complete a tough run before reaching the redemption of the finish line. Besides the easy dune trails and the hard sands near the water line, the contestants have to deal with ploughing through lots of loose sand and climbs on and off the dunes.