Jan Frodeno’s Triathlon-Gravel Event SGRAIL100: Beer and Burgers in Girona
The unique event was a huge success. Read all about the race in our article.
When Jan Frodeno asked his Instagram followers in September whether they were up for an adventure race to make up for the postponed triathlon world championships in Hawaii, the answer was a resounding yes: Everyone loved the idea, and so the three-time world champion got to work.
Together with his old friend and manager Felix Rüdiger, he created the SGRAIL100, combining triathlon and gravel riding into an exciting new race that was held in Girona, Spain – right on Frodeno’s doorstep – last weekend. Despite the short time between the initial idea and the event, we now know: This new format was truly excellent.
With an emphasis on fun over performance, most participants took a fairly relaxed approach to the first edition of the SGRAIL100 and its still fairly demanding 2 km swim, 88 km gravel ride, and 10 km trail run. It was the perfect setting to get together in a relaxed atmosphere, meet new people, and have a great time.
Triathlon has never been this fun
After a quick swim time, Frodeno relaxed in the first transition area and waited for his wife Emma before taking his Canyon Grail CF SLX onto the demanding gravel split to Girona. Like many others, Frodeno took the time to joke around, take pictures and give short interviews along the way. He enjoyed a day surrounded by fellow cyclists ranging from recent beginners to seasoned pros, men and women alike.
After over five and a half hours, Frodeno finished his race side by side with former South African triathlon pro James Cunnama, before joining the 128 finishers in celebrating with beer and burgers.
There’s no doubt: Triathlon has never been this fun, and the event is definitely due for a second edition. Even if many participants could still feel their efforts the next day, the feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive. But don’t take it from us – here’s what the participants had to say about the first SGRAIL100:
It was always a dream of mine to bring the community to my adopted home of Girona. The fact that it finally worked out and had such a positive vibe makes me very happy. It was supposed to be a positive end to the season - to put the idea of pure performance to one side and simply complete the 100 km with a smile on my face.
Emma Frodeno (La Comuna - Homebase of SGRAIL):
It was just great fun! The event succeeded in passing on the message that we also see in "La Comuna". Enjoying sports in a group, enjoying and respecting nature, and of course a good meal together.
Felix Rüdiger (Event Promoter/Organiser):
It was fantastic to see that our vision was so well received. I saw nothing but smiling faces for 2 days - even during the steep climbs on the course, the participants were happy. The response was so great that we're already looking for a date for autumn 2022. Apparently, "sgrailen" has now become a synonym for what we sometimes lack in sport: fun, community, fairness, nature, enjoyment, taking it easy.
Ingo Engelhardt - Founder RAD RACE
The SGRAIL was something completely new. 150 athletes from all over the world accepted Jan's invitation to swim 2k, ride 88k on a gravel bike and run 10k over hill and dale in Girona. We were there with 4 guys from the CANYON RAD PACK and had a lot of fun. It was all about good times instead of best times. You could tell that everyone helped each other. With numerous flat tyres on the bike course, this cost time, but in the end it was what made this event. Doughnuts and beer at the finish instead of classic finisher catering. Like RAD RACE, but for triathlon.
Wolfgang Kohl, Canyon Product Engineer:
The SGRAIL100 was an event that I hadn't experienced before. The idea of shifting the focus away from times and results to the pure experience of the landscapes around Girona and friendly get-togethers was long overdue. Jan, Emma and the La Comuna team created a friendly atmosphere that made every participant feel very comfortable.
Matthias Eurich, Canyon Product Manager:
An event like the SGRAIL100 shows once again how versatile and exciting the Gravel segment can be. Whether it was an espresso in the transition area or full speed over the gravel roads of Catalonia, fun was the main focus of this perfectly organised event. Everyone was welcome and everyone was rewarded, this approach is what makes the spirit of gravelling for me!