Challenge Family and MaccaX have announced a multi-year partnership between the world’s fastest-growing long-distance triathlon series and the online coaching platform run by two of triathlon’s most successful athletes ever, Chris “Macca” McCormack and Belinda Granger.

This partnership will see all of the Challenge Family’s 44 full and half distance triathlons offer MaccaX custom training plans from 2015 on, delivered through interactive calendars on-line and on mobile devices.

Macca, a four-time Challenge Roth champion and Challenge Family ambassador, is thrilled about the partnership.

“Belinda and I will be helping write and approve custom training plans (men’s and women’s) for all of the Challenge races in 2015. Better yet, we’ve pledged to keep the prices way down, under $50. We want these to be accessible to as many competitors as possible so they can have some solid structure in place and feel confident come race day that they’ve done the work necessary to have a great day.”

Athletes will enjoy access to Macca, Belinda, and other industry experts to answer their training- and racing-related questions for better preparation. They will also benefit from the exclusive community aspect of MaccaX, networking with like-minded people around the world for support, friendship, and encouragement.

“We’re delighted to partner with Macca, Belinda and the Macca X team, providing our athletes with access to expertise provided by some of the sport’s most respected athletes,” said Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik.  “We place significant importance on our partnerships, providing real value to athletes of all abilities with a focus on unbeatable quality and building a true triathlon community.”

The Challenge Family celebrates the sport of triathlon through its global series of long distance events and festivals that are changing the face of long distance racing around the world with its focus on athlete experience. Featuring spectacular courses in iconic destinations, Challenge Family events focus on delivering the race of a lifetime to every athlete, and creating a memorable spectator experience that captures all the excitement and emotion of this inspirational sport. The Challenge Family series currently features 44 events around the world in 19 countries including the world’s largest long distance triathlon, Challenge Roth in Germany. For for further information visit

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homeandlife3Clint Morrison was at the first Phuket Camp in 2013 and came back to Thanyapura early this year for some training. As he made preparations for the 2014 Phuket Camp, he sent out a call for donations in kind for the Home & Life Orphanage Foundation.

“I’ve got some capacity in my luggage which I’m going to fill with teddys/fluffy toys to take to the children at the orphanage that has a bakery that the Thanyapura Tri Team ride to on Sundays. Just putting it out there if anyone else has capacity they need towels and are more than happy to accept toys for the kids.”

The Home & Life Bakery is a coffee stop on Thanyapura Triathlon Academy’s Sunday long rides. Sales at the bakery go toward supporting the orphanage, and cyclists are more than happy to pick up a cold drink or a muffin before heading out again.

Clint just took it a step further. He also managed to collect from within his own social circle (they ended up having so much stuff donated that there may be a second batch soon).

The camp participants pitched in and made the drive to Phang Nga bearing gifts. While most of the children were at school, Home & Life’s staff and some younger children were present to receive them.


This little girl received a pair of shoes <3
This little girl received a pair of shoes <3
Thank You card from the children
Thank You card from the children

Thanks to Clint for spearheading this drive. MaccaX is proud of you all!

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Ian Graham has been training under the guidance of coach Sergio Borges and had some fantastic feedback to share:

“In hindsight I have been training like a 20 year old (when i am about to turn 41) and this has made me frequently sick (ie cold/flu’s due to poor immune system) and my performances spasmodic (ie poor performances when i thought i had peaked perfectly for a race and great performances when i wasnt expecting much).
I have been using Sergio for about 10 weeks and i cant stress how much of a reset i needed to make regarding my approach to training. My enjoyment of training has lifted considerably and i now have a “healthy fatigue” feeling rather than a “toxic/stressed” fatigue at the end of my week.
Im already excited about the possibilities for the season ahead with a 19 minute PB (4hr 35m) at my first 70.3 the other weekend. Your a gold mine of information Sergio and its great be working with you!
Cheers, Ian”

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Known on the circuit as Robbo, Peter Robertson is an Australian Olympic Triathlete with plenty of ITU wins under his belt.

Two years ago he came out of retirement to have a crack at long course and this year qualified for the Big Dance at Kona.  Three weeks before the race, he broke his collarbone.

Robbo agreed to write an article for MaccaX on how he dealt with this devastating blow, both physically and mentally.

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Challenge Family Infographic

This is the reason you should never skip over monthly email newsletters, especially those from a fast-growing brand such as Challenge Family. In today’s email update sent out to those who have participated in a Challenge race in the past, they sent a nifty little infographic. The description seems innocuous enough: “All the information you wanted to know about Challenge Family in one easy-reference infogram. We produced this to help the pro athletes but thought you all may be interested too. It provides a summary of the important facts and figures about Challenge Family races on a global scale. We may not be the biggest, but the best presents come in small parcels!”

But aside from the promise of bigger prize money and more races in 2015, the best present comes in a plain text box in this infographic. “CHALLENGE SERIES FINAL COMING. The authentic triathlon brand since 1988 #allabouttheathlete,” it says.

The infographic is a tantalizing hint and we are on tenterhooks waiting for Challenge Family to reveal more. Could this be the world championship that Macca has been talking about in previous podcasts? Where could it possibly be held, and who would be eligible to enter? More importantly — would you as an athlete be interested in going to a Challenge World Championship?

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by Jo Baxas

Col Stewart is one of the names in triathlon that everybody should know.  He has a resume that reads like a who’s who of triathlon medalists.  He has trained World Champions, his son Miles Stewart, the great Stephen Foster, Olivier Marceau and of course Chris McCormack.  To this day he still coaches Kiyomi Niwata arguably the most successful Asian female triathlete EVER.

Col StewartElite results include
9 ITU World Champions
9 Olympians
2 Dual Olympians
1 Triple Olympian
3 Asian Championships champions
2 Asian Games Champions

Col took some time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions.  Col is known in the sport for his honesty and he is not afraid to voice his opinion!

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Challenge Bahrain

Tired of complaining about lackluster online coverage of triathlon’s biggest events? Now you can watch the world’s best athletes compete for a record-breaking prize purse at Challenge Bahrain — live online, with commentary from self-admitted “triathlon geek” Macca. This is a guy who knows his triathlon, so you will get great in-depth analysis of the race as it happens. Challenge Bahrain happens on Saturday 6 December, with live coverage on Don’t miss it!

Here’s the press release from Challenge Family:

Entries to the ground-breaking Challenge Bahrain closed early at the weekend with a sell-out field. Athletes from 51 countries, including many of the sport’s biggest names will make triathlon history on 6 December 2014 at the event that has set new standards in professional triathlon with its record-breaking prize purse.

The field brings together world champions, Olympic champions and along with some of the greatest names in triathlon such as Mirinda Carfrae (AUS), Sebastian Kienle (GER), Rachel Joyce (GBR), Caroline Steffen (SUI) and Jan Frodeno (GER) and as part of the 80-strong pro field. Joining them are over 1,000 age group athletes, many of them local Bahrainis competing for the first time over the half distance.

Dr Saqer Al Kahlifa, president of the Bahrain Triathlon Association said he was very excited about the event that is now just one month away, “We believed from day one that if we lined up all the essential factors under the supervision of the Challenge Family, we will get in return what we have been wishing for. It was initially very challenging to focus on the details of creating a world-class event, but the human resources selected to run this event are simply creating one fantastic triathlon portrait. While this event aims to also bring the world’s best to our Kingdom, we are proud to say that the local participation in Challenge Bahrain has made us proud and surpassed our expectations. I cannot hide my excitement!”

<em>The much-anticipated action from Challenge Bahrain will be shown around the world over the Internet in a <strong>live broadcast commentated by multiple world champion Chris McCormack</strong> and Oliver Wilson and directed by the multiple Emmy Award-winning Peter Henning.</em>

As well as breaking records with its $500k prize purse, Challenge Bahrain will also be the largest single-race participation event in the Middle East, firmly putting Bahrain on the international triathlon map. Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik said he was proud to partner with Bahrain to bring world-class triathlon to the Middle East.

“With over 1,000 athletes, this is the largest single distance race in the region and it firmly puts Bahrain on the triathlon map. We know athletes are going to be blown away by the warm Bahrain welcome, along with the high calibre of this event. We are also extremely happy to see so many locals taking part, many for the first time – the future of triathlon is looking good!”

Challenge Bahrain will take place on Saturday 6 December with the start gun set to go off at 7.30am. Live coverage will broadcast on

The Boss Chris “Macca” McCormack crossed the New York City Marathon start line in the same wave as the pro men, but wasn’t there as a professional.

“Kicking off the New York Marathon with this crazy bunch! Supporting the Wounded Warrior Project today’s #Fun #Marathon,” he wrote on Instagram.

The Wounded Warrior Project aims to honor and empower Wounded Warriors — those in military service who incurred injuries on active duty. It aims to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, and help injured service members aid and assist each other. It provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. Visit their website at

Having lived and trained in Thailand’s tropical heat, Macca was excited about racing in New York’s cool temperatures. With his brand new fluorescent green Under Armour cold gear, you wouldn’t have missed him on that course.

“On our way to the NY City marathon start. It’s cold, windy but dry. Going to rock. Hanging with the @UARunning team,” he tweeted.


Macca started off hot and at one point was on target to run a sub-3 hour marathon.


It was never really about setting an open marathon personal record though. He took in the sights running a deceptively hilly course through the five boroughs of New York City, and crossed the finish line in 3:44 alongside fellow pro triathlete Tim Berkel. “Great way to enjoy the city,” he wrote. “Nice finish.”

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Rebekah Bruhwiller, Belinda Granger, Linda Hobday, Natalie Sievers and Stef Hanson

The Noosa Triathlon is one of the biggest on the tri calendar in Australia.  This year is no exception and some of the girls from the team were in Noosa and had the pleasure of attending the breakfast.

Linda and Caroline
Linda Hobday and Xena
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Linda Hobday, Rebekah Bruhwiller, Belinda Granger, Liz Blatchford, Natalie Sievers



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Coach Sergio posted this great article this week featuring tips on the transition from Off to On Season. Check out Triathlon training plans from Sergio here....