Elite athletes will swim, cycle, run and row to raise money for corona research
The siblings Line and Mads Brandt Pedersen, who are European champion in triathlon and world champion in kayak, respectively, will raise money for corona research at Aarhus University by competing against each other.
What do elite athletes do when the summer’s championships have been cancelled due to the corona pandemic, but when they still need to maintain their form?
The European champion in triathlon Line Brandt Pedersen from Silkeborg has challenged her brother, world champion in kayak, Mads Brandt Pedersen, to a race to see who can get from Silkeborg to Randers quickest –with her swimming, cycling and running, and him kayaking. At the same time, the race will be the focal point of fundraising for corona research at Aarhus University.
"As one championships after another was cancelled, I realised that I’d have to do something different to motivate myself to keep up my training. And, at the same time, I wanted to support the fight against corona. From here, the idea grew," says Line Brandt Pedersen about the brother versus sister battle, which has now escalated into a sports event with live-streaming and fundraising on 9 May. The sports arena is a stretch of the river Gudenå between Silkeborg and Randers. About seventy kilometres all together.
Follow the event on Facebook
The siblings have decided to turn the race into an open event that can be followed on social media, while at the same time raising awareness of, and support for, the corona research taking place at Aarhus University.
The corona crisis has affected me just like it has everyone else, and I want to do something to help. The best way for me to do that is to support the people who are actually working on developing treatment,” says Line Brandt Pedersen about the initiative. Together with her brother, she has decided that the money raised by the event should be donated to viral research and Professor Søren Riis Paludan and the coronavirus research programme which is taking place at the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University.
Here, researchers are working to develop a new vaccine against COVID-19 as well as new testing and treatment options for patients affected by the coronavirus. Professor Søren Riis Paludan is touched by the athletes announcement.
"It's a fantastic generous gesture by Line and Mads to do this for the benefit of the research. We need all the funding and support from society we can get to create more knowledge about the coronavirus. We see this event as a pat on the back for us at the university, and we’re very grateful for that," says Søren Riis Paludan.
How the race will take place
- The event starts at Andetovet in Silkeborg on 9 May at 10:00 and ends at Justesens Lawn in Randers at approx. 14:45
- Mads will row a kayak from Andetovet in Silkeborg to Justesens Lawn in Randers
- Line will swim from Andetovet in Silkeborg to Resenbro, cycle from here via the Trækstien to Tange, and then run via the Trækstien to Randers
- In total, the journey is expected to take between 4.5-5 hours
How to follow the athletes
- The live-stream will have two commentators – Lasse Stengaard aka the Tri-Oracle, and Rene Larsen – who will also be interviewing guests
How to make a donation
- The Facebook page includes a link to the fundraising platform, where it is also possible to participate in the prize draw and win prizes from Fusion and Parajumpers, among others.
- It is also possible to make a donation directly
Facts about the athletes:
- Line Brandt Pedersen, 28, former professional footballer in the US, now a triathlon, duathlon and cross running athlete. She is European Champion in Ironman in the AG25-29 class and the Danish Champion in Half Ironman among all age groups. She made her debut as a professional duathlon athlete in 2019 at the European Championships, and represented the Danish athletics team in cross racing at the National, European and World Championships.
- Mads Brandt Pedersen, 23, made history in 2019 in kayaking by being the first person to ever become double world champion and double European champion in marathon kayak (both U23 and Senior). He is number 1 in the world rankings and was nominated for the BT Gold award at the nationally televised sports gala.
The corona research team at the Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University