IRONMAN VR Team Challenge Enters Week 2 Of Showcasing the EMEA Region On IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch Page with Teams Taking on a Sprint Distance Duathlon Simulation

April 14, 2021

- Team Michelle Enslin leads after the first week of competition in the EMEA portion of the IRONMAN VR Team Challenge; Team Elmar Sprink in second and Team Shane Williams in third place - Jesper Svenson to join in the competition offering teams opportunity to bolster their bike scoring with Pro Wild Card Lifeline - EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) Week 2 taking place on Thursday, April 15 at 7 p.m. GMT (2 p.m. ET)

IRONMAN VR Team Challenge

  • EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) IRONMAN VR Team Challenge Week 2 taking place on Thursday, April 15 at 7:00 p.m. GMT (2:00 p.m. ET) with three teams facing-off in a Sprint Distance virtual duathlon.
  • Professional triathlete, Jesper Svenson, will join this week’s competition providing the teams an opportunity to bolster their bike scoring with Pro Wild Card Lifelines. Nikki Bartlett provided the PRO Wild Card for the run in Week 1.
  • IRONMAN VR Team Challenge can be viewed on the IRONMAN Now on Facebook Watch page by visiting facebook.com/IRONMANnow.
  • ICYMI: If you could not tune in last Thursday to watch the start of the EMEA region IRONMAN Team Challenge on Facebook Watch, watch the recap HERE
  • Three regional team captains and their respective age-group teammates will continue to compete in their own three-week-long competition cycles covering Sprint, Olympic and Half-Distance virtual duathlons. After kicking off Week 1 of the EMEA region IRONMAN VR Team Challenge with an Olympic Distance duathlon, we now head into Week 2 with a Sprint Distance duathlon.
  • Each teammate is tasked with competing in either the bike or run segments to help build a total score for the team captains.
  • The region’s team captain with the most cumulative points at the end of the three-week-long competition will receive a $5,000 donation to the charity of their choice from the IRONMAN Foundation Your Journey, Your Cause fundraising campaign.

Team EMEA Team Captains

EMEA Team Captains include Former Welsh international professional rugby union player Shane Williams (UK), heart transplant athlete and inspiring keynote speaker Elmar Sprink (Germany) and IRONMAN World Champion, IRONMAN 70.3 World Champion and IRONMAN African Championship age-group winner Michelle Enslin (South Africa). These captains are tasked with forming a duo of athletes to join them each week for the competition scoring. This week’s athletes include:

Team Michelle Enslin – Fundraising for IRONMAN 4 the Kidz

  • Michelle is a veteran triathlete, multi-time IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa, IRONMAN 70.3 Durban and IRONMAN African Championship age-group winner, 2018 IRONMAN World Championship age-group winner (coming second in her age-group category in 2019), 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship age-group winner (placing fifth in her age-group category in 2019) and IRONMAN 4 the Kids Ambassador. Michelle is an energetic and uplifting individual which she channels into her love for triathlon, charity and loving on animals.
  • Michelle’s teammates for this round include one of South Africa’s top age-group triathletes Travis Johnston on the bike, Nelson Mandela Bay’s top marathon runner Melikhaya Frans on the run and Nelson Mandela Bay’s young and up-and-coming runner Nwabisa Mjoli who will be running for Michelle due to a resurfacing hip injury.

Team Elmar Sprink – Fundraising for HDZ Kinderherzzentrum (HZD Children’s Heart Center)

  • During IRONMAN Austria in 2010, Elmar Sprink was forced to withdraw after experiencing physical discomfort. This started the search for the cause of his condition. He was placed on a heart transplant donor list in the summer of 2011 and in June 2012, a suitable heart was found. Exactly 757 days after the operation, on July 6, 2014, Sprink was back competing in triathlon events and finished his first IRONMAN with the new heart in Frankfurt. Learn more about Elmar here.
  • Elmar’s teammates for this round include Germany’s three time professional World Championship MTB Marathon rider Peter Schermann on the bike, Germany’s age group athlete Pia Jensen will be taking on the run.

Team Shane Williams – Fundraising for the Velindre Cancer Charity

  • RetiredWelsh professional rugby union player most famous for his long and successful tenure as a wing for the Ospreys and the Wales national team. Shane is the record try scorer for Wales, and is fourth on the international list of leading rugby union test try scores. He is Wales’ most capped winger and is considered to be one of the greatest wingers to play the sport. Learn more about Shane here.
  • Shane’s teammates for this round include Sam Holness who isattempting to become the first athlete with autism to complete a full distance IRONMAN race, and Enduro/Motocross rider Carl Jones who is just getting into endurance sports.

Weekly Schedule

Thursday, April 15

  • 7:00 p.m. GMT (2:00 p.m. ET) – EMEA Week 2: Sprint Distance duathlon

Thursday, April 22

  • 7:00 p.m. GMT (2:00 p.m. ET) – EMEA Week 3: Half-Distance duathlon

Thursday, April 29

  • 4:00 a.m. AEST (7:00 p.m. ET) – IRONMAN VR Team Challenge Preview show and Introduction of Team Captains from Asia Pacific

Thursday, May 6

  • 4:00 a.m. AEST (7:00 p.m. ET) – Asia Pacific Week 1: Olympic Distance triathlon

EMEA Week 1 Recap:

Athlete Performance:

  • Combined Bike Times:
    • Team Enslin: 1:58:04
    • Team Sprink: 1:54:54
    • Team Williams: 2:13:54
  • Combined Run Times:
    • Team Enslin: 1:22:14
    • Team Sprink: 1:22:21
    • Team Williams: 1:35:26
  • Athletic Total:
    • Team Enslin: 3:20:18 (40 points)
    • Team Sprink: 3:17:15 (50 points)
    • Team Williams: 3:49:20 (25 points)

Social Media and Engagement:

  • Team Enslin: 25 points
  • Team Sprink: 20 points
  • Team Williams: 15 points

In-Broadcast Challenges:

  • Team Enslin: 25 points
  • Team Sprink: 15 points
  • Team Williams: 20 points

Overall Standings After Week 1:

  • Team Enslin: 90 points
  • Team Sprink: 85 points
  • Team Williams: 60 points

Rules and Processes

  • Each region competes in its own three-week-long competition and consists of a Sprint, Olympic and Half-Distance virtual triathlon simulation. The teams from North America competed during round one in a triathlon format on March 18; EMEA will take part in round two in a duathlon format starting April 8 and Asia Pacific will begin their portion of the competition on May 6
  • Three team captains and their chosen team members will compete simultaneously against each other in their respective swim, bike, and run segments (EMEA will take part in a duathlon format).
  • Scoring is not only based on athletic performance; however, with the live audiences’ help, points will also be awarded for social media engagement and In-Broadcast Challenges.

 Scoring Categories 

  • Athletic Performance: Each week, team captains and their team members will test their endurance by competing in each of the respective disciplines of the Sprint, Olympic, or Half-Distance virtual triathlons. The scores for their swim, bike, and run segments for each distance are cumulative and combined with their selected team members’ swim, bike, and run times.
  • Social Media and Engagement: During the three-week-long competition, team captains will be given social media challenges; following each engagement, viewers will get the opportunity to vote on their favorite post, awarding the winning team with more points.
  • In-Broadcast Challenges: Throughout each region’s three-week-long competition, In-Broadcast Challenges will require athletes to think on their feet to show off their triathlon knowledge, helping them to earn more points and move them up on the team leader board.

IRONMAN VR All-Terrain Series

Coinciding with the IRONMAN VR Team Challenge,the IRONMAN VR All-Terrain Series consist of six months of training-length challenges and virtual races that will take athletes on a tour of the best IRONMAN locales. Each month will focus on a different terrain – expect to virtually visit race destinations in different regions within each terrain. Offering three weekday workouts plus one weekend VR race, the IRONMAN VR All-Terrain Series will also consist of multiple month-long challenges. These month-long challenges allow athletes to chase a certain number of kilometers for the month in whatever sport they like and on their own time. March’s theme is Flat and Fast and will offer a Sprint, Olympic, Sprint, and half-distance as well as a 150km, 300km, and 500km month-long challenges. For more information of this month’s challenges visit here.

IRONMAN Foundation

Team captains will set up IRONMAN Foundation Your Journey, Your Cause fundraising campaigns where they will be able to collect donations for a charity and cause that is important to them. The winning team from each regional showcase will receive a $5,000 donation from the IRONMAN Foundation to further grow their Your Journey, Your Cause fundraising campaigns. To learn more about the IRONMAN Foundation and Your Journey, Your Cause visit here.

For additional details on the IRONMAN VC platform, visit  www.ironmanvirtualclub.com/. Questions about the IRONMAN Virtual Racing Series can be directed to ironmanvr@ironman.com.

For more information on the IRONMAN brand and global event series, visit www.ironman.com. Media related inquiries may be directed to press@ironman.com.


About IRONMAN Virtual Club

The IRONMAN® Virtual Club™ (VC™) brings the global IRONMAN® community together virtually week-after-week. Launching in April of 2020, the platform gives athletes from around the world access to IRONMAN U Certified Coach curated workouts, training resources, and challenges that prepare athletes to compete in the IRONMAN Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series. Athletes have the opportunity to train, compete, earn, and be rewarded as they set their goals towards a successful year of racing. In addition, through the Race Honorably campaign, IRONMAN’s goal is to provide an exceptional virtual racing experience with credible results that requires athletes to do their part by entering accurate data. Additional details about the IRONMAN VC platform can be found at www.ironmanvirtualclub.com/.

About the IRONMAN Foundation

The IRONMAN Foundation creates positive, tangible change in race communities by engaging athletes and volunteers to participate in programs that demonstrate service through sport and commitment to community. Since 2003, over $50,000,000 has been provided through giveback programs led by the IRONMAN Foundation to more than 9,500 local, regional, national and global nonprofit initiatives. Through these partnerships, IRONMAN and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series participants are powerfully linked to the community and together help leave a positive legacy behind in race communities long after event day. For more information on IRONMAN Foundation programs, including TEAM IMF, Community Fund, Rock This Town®, Your Journey Your Cause, and Women For Tri, visit www.ironmanfoundation.org.

About The IRONMAN Group

The IRONMAN Group operates a global portfolio of events that includes the IRONMAN®Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®70.3®Triathlon Series, the IRONMAN®Virtual Racing™ (VR™) Series, 5150™ Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll®Running Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virtual Running™ Series, IRONKIDS®, World Triathlon Championship Series, premier running events including the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon™ and The Sun-Herald City2Surf®, Ultra-Trail®World Tour events including Tarawera Ultra and Ultra-Trail Australia™, mountain bike races including the Absa Cape Epic®, road cycling events, and other multisport races. The IRONMAN Group is the largest operator of mass participation sports in the world and provides more than a million participants annually the benefits of endurance sports through the company’s vast offerings. Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN®brand and its first event in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE®by crossing finish lines around the world. Beginning as a single race, The IRONMAN Group has grown to become a global sensation with hundreds of events across 55+ countries. The IRONMAN Group is owned by Advance, a private, family-owned business. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.

About Advance 

Advance is a private, family-held business that owns and invests in companies across media, entertainment, technology, communications, education and other promising growth sectors. Our mission is to build the value of our companies over the long-term by fostering growth and innovation. Advance’s portfolio includes Condé Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, The IRONMAN Group, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and Pop. Together these operating companies employ more than 17,000 people in 29 countries. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit. For more information visit www.advance.com.