There are only six weeks left until the race weekend and therefore the highest time for the presentation of the top athletes. The hep Challenge Heilbronn powered by Audi and its Güglinger title sponsor used a press conference to inform about the latest news. Hep introduced its current hep Sports Team, a team of selected endurance athletes, to support hep as its main sponsor. As members of the team, Sebastian Kienle, Laura Philipp and Arne Gabius were interviewed by hep co-founder Christian Hamann. Common denominator of all was the desire to do positive activities for our planet earth. As a professional triathlete, whose life with many trips is not necessarily the most climate-friendly, glad to have a sponsor to deal with this topic. The three athletes and the other team members Maurice Clavel and Boris Stein will be on the starting line of the hep Challenge Heilbronn powered by Audi on 19th of May, organizer Kai Sauser was delighted with the positive news. Among the men surely also the new local hero and Schwaigerner Florian Angert and Andreas Dreitz belong to the absolute top athletes. Defending champion Daniela Bleymehl can compete in the elite women’s field with Laura Philipp.
These and the other 2500 starters over the three distances “Middle”, “Olympic” and “Sprint” can look forward to a new cycling course, which Sauser also presented. Instead of previously counterclockwise, it is now from Heilbronn on a direct route to Zabergäu. About a circle to Häfnerhaslach and Sternenfels it goes over the Kraichgau and the Leintal via B293 back to the city center. The new route has already been praised by athletes, because the profile with the uphills at the beginning will ensure that the starting field is sorted quickly and thus a fairer race is possible.
Also changed is the running course over the Middle Distance in Heilbronn. There is an extension of 2 kilometers per lap and so the athletes run only three instead of four laps. And finally, there is a return of the transition area to the Badstraße. Thus, the paths are shorter again and the competition for the spectators even better to follow. The SI Challenge women’s run and the Junior Challenge are back on Saturday as part of the weekend. The Junior Challenge will take place in 2019 as an aquathlon, the combination of swimming and running. Also on Saturday, the traditional Bürger Maultaschen Party takes place as well as the athletes’ briefing and the “Dicke Fische“ live concert on the Neckarbühne.
In addition to hep, the Challenge Heilbronn has another increase in sponsorship. Zone3 from the UK is the new swim sponsor and the non-alcoholic beer will be provided by Bitburger 0.0% . However, the new hep title sponsorship is already a defining feature, making the event even greener and more environmentally friendly. For example, the long-time partner Audi will present the new electric-powered “e-trons” as leading vehicles this year, and the environmental partnership with “Grüner Punkt” will also be a successful continuation.
photo credit: Marcel Hilger