Monday, 08 Aug, 2022

Dee Fuller wants to compete in every Challenge Family race worldwide: ‘Something magical about the family you have created’

Dee Fuller just before her finish at The Championship. (Photo: Marathon-Photos)

If anyone has a heart for Challenge Family, it is Dee Fuller. This athlete from The United States of America but based in Australia has the dream to ever complete all Challenge Family races. By the way, Fuller is already busy purchasing this dream with three participations in the Long Distance of Challenge Wanaka, but also participations in Challenge Roth, Challenge Melbourne, Challenge Forester, Challenge Almere-Amsterdam and Challenge Family’s The Championship. “Every race has some amazing memories for me that make it special and unique.”

Still it’s very hard for Fuller to name her most special race so far: “As for the race with the best memories, this is a question I may never be able to answer, as every race has some amazing memories that make it special and unique. Let me explain: my first go at Challenge Wanaka was in 2015, where the weather was certainly not on the side of the athletes – strong intense winds, rain, sunshine, then more rain, the race had everything in it. In fact, many pros dropped out. I remember on my second lap, the winds blew so strongly that I was literally pushed to a 45 degree angle with the ground – and somehow I managed to stay on the bike and pull it upright. Another example was climbing Solar Hill in Roth – oh my word! Never before nor since have I experienced such a crowd of fanatics. And to be on course when Jan Frodeno broke the world record, just awesome. I could add competing in The Championship and being part of Challenge Family history – setting a new PB for myself on the bike, and staying strong throughout the race, even though I had finished my first ever Ultraman only 3 weeks beforehand. Being a part of such an amazing group of athletes – awesome. Each race really does have it’s own special moments, so it is truly hard to pick just one as my favorite.”

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In almost every race in which Fuller competed, she finished in the top ten women’s overall and was on the podium in her Age Group. But most of all, she competes because she loves triathlon and Challenge Family races so much. In her journey to compete in all the Challenge Family races worldwide, which one is the highest on her list? “With our current global situation, this will be the first year that I will not have the honor or participating in a Challenge Family race since 2015, when I competed in Challenge Wanaka for the first time. It’s so difficult to choose because of the fact that each and every event is located in such a unique and special place, like Gloria Challenge Mogan-GranCanaria for example. I have never even been to Spain, but to need to travel through mainland Spain to get to these tiny little islands off the coast of Africa, that would be an incredible journey. Or what about Challenge Budva, located between countries which have changed borders so many times since I was born in 1980. To be honest: it’s a dream for me to compete in every Challenge Family race and to return to a few venues that I have already had the pleasure of racing on.”

There are several reasons why Fuller is so fond of the triathlon sport she’s been practicing since she was about six years old. “Because of the challenge – mastering three disciplines is no easy task; becoming a better version of me – whether that is on the race course, in training, or in life, I find that triathlon has made me adaptable, reliable, energetic, determined, disciplined, goal-oriented, and strong – both mentally and physically; the start line – where I become a nervous wreck, need to kiss my husband a thousand times, and lose my head; the actual start – when all of my worries and fears dissipate and my body takes over and does what it has been trained to do; the finish line – when you cross and you know that you have given everything or you conquered yourself or a fear that you had, the place where all doubt is erased.”

Why this love for Challenge Family races? “What I love about these races is that they are all about the athletes, and when you stand on the starting line, there is no attitude, there is only this commonality between us. During the race, volunteers have gone out of their way to make each athlete’s adventure special. I love the type of dedication and love that is presented at Challenge Family races, and this is why I would love the opportunity to race at every venue because there is just internationally.”

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