A team of legendary Polish athletes will join the inaugural CHALLENGEGDANSK as the so-called Champions Relay. This Relay Team will participate at the sprint distance and consists of Alicja Pęczak, Przemysław Miarczyński and Adam Korol. All participants, solo or relay, can try to beat the finish time of the Champions Relay. All participants who succeed in this, will be invited for an official dinner in a 4-star hotel in Gdansk, including a meet and greet with the team.
The first member of the team is Alicja Pęczak. She’s the only member of the Champions Relay who will start in its crowning competition. The rich collection of the former AZS AWF Gdańsk swimmer includes over 370 medals from domestic and foreign events. Pęczak can call herself 82-time Polish senior champion, 14-time medalist of the European Championships and three-time Olympian: Barcelona (1992), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000).
“In December, 20 years have passed since I said goodbye to competitive swimming with gold medals in the European championships. At the moment, I work with students, future swimming teachers and run a swimming school for children, but I cannot swim during these classes. However, I could not refuse to be invited to compete together with such amazing athletes. Therefore, I will have to spend a little more time in the water to start the relay race and not hurt my body. My first training session is behind me. I swam 1500 meters. The technique remained, but endurance needs to be improved” said Alicja Pęczak, who was most successful in the classic style, and also competed in variable style. In June, in Gdańsk, she will have 750 meters to cover with any technique.
The bike part of the race will be taken care of by Przemysław Miarczyński. The popular “Pont” is a 15-time medalist of the World- and European Championships in Olympic classes and an Olympic bronze medalist from London (2012). In total, he’s a four-time Olympian (also in 2000, 2004, 2008). Cycling was always a complimentary training to windsurfing for Miarczyński, but after his active career, he has done many extreme bike races as well as running marathons.
“I finished my competitive career in the Olympic classes in 2016. I did a lot of cycling during it. But now I will have to refresh these skills, because lately I have been riding less and running more. The relay invitation found me in the Canary Islands, so I need to get my bike here quickly. In such a climate, it would be a sin to train on a stationary bike. I feel excited about the prospect of taking off. This will be a great motivation. I will do my best to prepare myself as well as possible and fall out within the limits of decency”, said Przemysław Miarczyński, who will have to ride 20 km in June in Gdańsk.
Adam Korol is a member of “Dominators”, the name of the Polish double four in rowing, which from 2005 till 2010 won all the most important regattas in the world. In 2008, he won a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Beijing. Next to that, he’s also a four-time World Champion and a European Champion. In total, Korol participated at the Olympics five times: in 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. Currently, he is the director of the Office of the President of Gdańsk for Sport.
“Eight years ago I ended my career and I do not miss this achievement. Since then, I have been an amateur athlete, which gives me a lot of satisfaction. I train regularly. I can use a gym, ergometer, stationary bike and I jog a lot. Therefore, I will not change anything in the preparations so far. I guarantee that the run will be at a good level. Anyway, I know that we will all be very well prepared and the old masters will show what else they can do. I have already started to wonder if after the transitions of Alicja and Przemek I will chase or run away from others”, said Adam Korol, who will have to run 5 km in Gdańsk.
The inaugural CHALLENGEGDANSK will take place on June 19 and 20 this year. Athletes can compete individually and as a team over the sprint or middle distance. The race courses will be similar to the ones of the Gdańsk Triathlon of July 2019. Triathletes will race in the Gdańsk Bay, next to the Energa Stadium and in the Reagan Park, and finish at the pier in Brzeźno. At the moment it’s still possible to register for the event. All information regarding the courses and registration, can be found on www.challenge-poland.com.