Challenge Family announces new manager for Asia

As the Challenge Family series of long distance triathlons continues to grow globally, so the team behind the scenes has increased to support the delivery of this world-class series of events.

Challenge Family has today announced the appointment of Marcus Altmann to oversee the Asia Pacific region, covering Challenge Family’s existing races in Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. He will also work on developing new race locations within the region.

“With Marcus’s extensive background in the triathlon business and his proven success in developing Challenge Family in Australia, building five new races there, he is the perfect choice to represent us throughout the Asia Pacific region,” said Felix Walchshöfer, CEO of TEAMChallenge GmbH.

While the Walchshöfer family continues to oversee the series they created in 2002, a new team is working behind the scenes, led by Challenge Family CEO Zibi Szlufcik. Szlufcik’s sport and triathlon industry knowledge is superlative. A two-times world champion in winter triathlon and with over 200 victories to his name during his athletic career, Szlufcik held a senior management position at PowerBar and provided consultancy to the brand.

“At Challenge Family we’re all driven by the same thing that drives athletes: the passion to push limits, to perform at our best and to enjoy what we do in style,” said Szlufcik.

“As has been illustrated at each of our 31 events, Challenge Family goes above and beyond with the highest possible respect for the legacy of the triathlon community. And through our races, we are creating innovative platforms for sustained growth together with our partners sharing our ethical values and morals. Our objective is nothing less than quality leadership with 100% athlete focus.”

The team working with Szlufcik has been instrumental in the geographic growth and change of Challenge Family over the past 24 months, including the recent announcement of the world’s largest half distance prize purse at Challenge Bahrain.

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Murphy Reinschreiber has been involved with triathlon since its very first days and has been instrumental in its development, both as a top 10 athlete and also in shaping the structure of the sport. He was the founding Executive Director of the organization that is now USA Triathlon, the sport’s first national governing body and he created the race format that is now the Olympic format. In 1987, with Paula Newby-Fraser as his first client, he launched the successful PCH Sports athlete representation business. Now, Reinschreiber heads up Challenge events and operations in the Americas as well as managing Challenge Family global partnerships.

“Challenge Family as the authentic triathlon brand reflects my understanding of a sport caring about athletes, communities, industry and partners,” he said. “It’s very satisfying to contribute my experience to the global growth of Challenge brand of triathlon.”

Victoria Murray-Orr manages Challenge Family’s global marketing and communications. A two-time national PR award-winner in her home country of New Zealand, she has also managed and developed Challenge Wanaka, the first Challenge event outside of Roth for the past eight years while working closely with the Walchshöfers and Szlufcik as the series grew from two races to the global organization it is today.

“Being a part of this organization since the very first days and seeing it grow from two to 31 races has truly illustrated what an inspiring sport triathlon is,” she said. “And what has been unwavering along that journey is despite Challenge Family’s significant growth, it has stayed true to its core principles set back in 2002 with no compromise on athlete experience, commitment to the legacy of the sport and respect.”

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Multi Emmy award-winning producer, Peter Henning, heads up TV for Challenge Family, charged with bringing the passion of Challenge, its athletes and its races to a larger global television audience. “Having been around the endurance sports world for over 25 years Challenge is a breath of fresh air. I believe that participating in sports should be fun and I have seen that at Challenge events around the world. I am looking forward to this next chapter!”

“This is just the beginning,” said Szlufcik. “We have a lot of exciting developments planned for 2014/2015 and I am delighted and honoured to work with such a genuine team of amazing individuals such as Victoria, Peter, Murphy and Marcus.”

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