VALTTERI’S NEW­EST CHAL­LENGE: HIS VERY OWN CHAR­ITY DUATHLON

F1 Racing (UK) - - COVER STORY -

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.

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