Some long distance news hot off the press: there’s extra Kona places up for grabs at next year’s Ironman UK; and a brand new race in the Challenge series at Henley-on-Thames.

Triathlon Events: Ironman UK 2011 And Challenge Henley

Ironman UK 2011

Just weeks after Britain’s Fraser Cartmell (pictured) and Yvette Grice won Ironman UK in Bolton, the race organisers have announced that at next year’s event an extra 20 qualifying places will be available for the 2011 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

At this year’s event there were 30 Kona places available for age-groupers but next year will see numbers boosted to 50, giving more people a chance to qualify for the end-of-season extravaganza in the Aloha state. These extra places have been spread out democratically across most of the age groups, and with none of the slots going to pro qualifiers, who will qualify next year on a cumulative points system, it actually means that almost double the amount of age group berths will be available next season.

Challenge Henley-on-Thames 2011

In further long distance news, the Challenge Family have added a UK race to their 10-race global series for the first time by adding a race in Henley-on-Thames next season on 18 September 2011. The swim course will take in the globally-renowned Royal Regatta rowing course, before a bike leg through the surrounding Chiltern Hills and a run course along the banks of the Thames.

“We are really pleased to welcome Henley-on-Thames into the series,” said Challenge Family CEO Felix Walchshofer.

“UK athletes are always very well represented in our series, usually the first or second largest nationality on our start lists after the local athletes. With such a loyal base in the UK, we’re delighted to be able to bring the Challenge brand to them.”