VALTTERI’S NEWEST CHALLENGE: HIS VERY OWN CHARITY DUATHLON
Let’s set the record straight about one thing. Valtteri Bottas decided to host a duathlon (with running and cycling) rather than a triathlon, in his home town, only because it was easier to get more people to enter – it definitely wasn’t because he was scared of being beaten by his wife, Olympic swimmer Emilia Pikkarainen.
“No, no, that’s not the reason at all!” he says, laughing. “In any case, there’s no secret: I know I would have lost by miles!”
The challenge is a formidable one, involving a 5km run, followed by 20km of mountain biking, and finally another 3km run – this final stretch along an up-anddown course through the forests close to the Olympic Training Centre. The main event was preceded by a family duathlon, with the length cut down to just 8km.
“I’ve been planning on doing an event like this for quite a while now because I love doing sports myself,” explains Valtteri. “So, I want to hold this event every year and make it bigger so that everyone can join in: it’s such a fantastic thing and it’s very healthy, obviously.”
In the end, Valtteri finished 11th with a time of 1hr 25m, the top places being filled by professional athletes, including the winner – Markus Vuorela. Valtteri’s race engineer Tony Ross also competed, finishing 31st, as well as a few other members of the Mercedes team.
The event has a charitable focus, with the Valtteri Bottas Duathlon donating €10,000 to the Starlight Foundation, which grants the wishes of seriously ill children.