New Triathlon Series Makes Waves

             Destination Event Expands North America & Caribbean

    TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - Island Triathlon Series Ltd. is proud to
announce the launch of their newly created and exciting event, the inaugural
Island Triathlon Series(TM) (ITS). The original-distance triathlon coined The
Island Eighty(TM) features a 1-mile swim, a 66-mile bike and a 13-mile run
that will take place in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, B.W.I. The event date
is Saturday, December 1st, 2007.
    ITS is quickly becoming the "IT" triathlon to participate in, with top
pro-athletes already confirmed for the event including, Rutger Beke, Lisa
Bentley, Desiree Ficker, Joanna Lawn, Chris Lieto, Kim Loeffler, Chris
McCormack, Melanie McQuaid, Matt Reed and Marino Vanhoenacker.
    ITS is also excited to announce Hala Events & Communications Inc. as
their Event Producers for the ITS. Hala Inc. is an international,
award-winning event firm based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Hala Inc.
prides itself on being a leader in the event management sector, specializing
in creating unique and original events benefiting charities and incorporating
a charitable component to their event. ITS is no exception.
    With ITS came the birth of its signature fundraising initiative
"Tri4Dignity(TM)." TRI4Dignity provides athletes with an opportunity to
achieve a personal goal and off-set their travel expenses while also raising
funds and awareness for Dignitas International - a global, medical, and
humanitarian organization focused on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention.
    Given the enormity of the pandemic and the need for financial support, it
was easy for Hala Bissada, President & CEO of Island Triathlon Series Ltd. to
align the event with this cause. "I've had the privilege of volunteering with
Dignitas International for the past three years and know first-hand the
tremendous strides that their team has made with their community-based care
model. Thousands of people are leading better lives because of their efforts,"
said Hala. Coincidentally, the first Island Triathlon Series(TM) event will
take place on World AIDS Day, December 1st, 2007.
    ITS is planning to expand its series to other island destinations, adding
a new island each year over the next 3-4 years, culminating with its own World
Championship in 2010.
    This is the first time a triathlon event has come to the Island of Turks
& Caicos. Welcomed and endorsed by the Premier's Office, Tourism Board, local
hoteliers and excursion companies, the ITS has already taken the island by
storm. Making a conscious effort to weave the event within the fabric of the
Island, the ITS has adopted the national motto of the Turks & Caicos Islands
as the motto for the event, "Each Endeavoring - All Achieving".
    For more information about the event or to register as a participant,
become a volunteer or to make a donation, please visit

    Island Triathlon Series(TM)
    Set to take place on December 1, 2007 (World Aids Day), the Island
Triathlon Series(TM) is an original distance triathlon featuring The Island
Eighty(TM): a 1-mile swim, a 66-mile bike ride and a 13-mile run set against a
picturesque backdrop of the Providenciales, Turks & Caicos landscape. ITS is
planning to expand its series to other island destinations, adding a new
island each year over the next 3-4 years, culminating with its own World
Championship in 2010. For more information about the race, to register or to
volunteer, please visit:

    Dignitas International
    Dignitas International is a global pioneering medical and humanitarian
organization harnessing the power of community to fight AIDS and to
dramatically increase access to life-saving treatment and prevention in areas
overwhelmed by the pandemic. Dignitas International is saving lives with a
groundbreaking, sustainable community-based care model to be replicated
throughout the developing world. The organization was co-founded by Dr. James
Orbinski, former International President of Doctors without Boarders - he
accepted the Nobel Peace prize on behalf of the organization in 1999. Further
information is available at

    TRI4Dignity is the signature fundraising campaign for Island Triathlon
Series(TM). This initiative gives athletes an opportunity to achieve a
personal goal, raise money and awareness for Dignitas International, a global
medical humanitarian organization focused on HIV/AIDS treatment and
prevention, while off-setting their travel costs. For more information go to

    Hala Events & Communications Inc.
    Hala Events & Communications Inc. is the event producer of the Island
Triathlon Series(TM). Hala Inc. is an international award-winning event
management firm specializing in highly complex events with an international,
national and/or regional scope. They have a stellar reputation for developing
new, innovative event concepts that capture industry and public recognition.
They plan strategically, focusing on results and long-term measurable success
and developing events that make good business sense. For more information,
please visit

                                 APPENDIX I

    James Fraser, Executive Director & Co-Founder
    Dignitas International, Toronto Headquarters

    Dr. James Orbinski, President & Co-Founder
    Dignitas International, Toronto Headquarters

    Scott Simpson, HIV+ Triathlete
    Dignitas International's Fundraising Officer

    Hala Bissada, President & CEO
    Hala Inc. and the Island Triathlon Series(TM) Ltd

    Kelly Mathews, Race Director
    Island Triathlon Series(TM)

                                 APPENDIX II

    Confirmed Pro-Athletes:

    Rutger Beke: Rutger has ranked in the top five finisher overall in the
Ironman World Championships since 2003. Other highlights include Belgian
Champion Long Distance triathlon in 2003 and Belgian Champion Short Distance
triathlon in 2004. Visit for more information.

    Lisa Bentley: Ten-time Ironman Champion, Lisa also ranked 3rd in the 2006
Ironman World Championships. Her other career highlights include representing
Canada at the Pan America Games in 1995. Visit for more

    Desiree Ficker: Former Junior Olympic athlete, Desiree is a rising star
on the Ironman circuit having recently finished 2nd overall at the 2006
Ironman World Championships as well as a 2nd place finish at Ironman Buffalo
Springs Lake 2006. Visit for more information.

    Joanna Lawn: Wellington born and Auckland raised, Joanna is an Ironman
Champion and placed 4th overall in the 2006 Ironman World Championships. Visit for more information.

    Chris Lieto: Three-time Ironman champion and current No. 1 ranked U.S.
Long Course triathlete, Chris finished 9th overall at the 2006 Ironman World
Championships. Visit for more information.

    Kim Loeffler: Current USA Long Course Champion, Kim placed 8th overall
and first U.S. finisher at the Ironman World Championships in 2005. She was
also named the Breakthrough Performance of the Year by Inside Triathlon
Magazine in 2005. Visit for more information.

    Chris McCormack: Australian Chris McCormack is one of the most affable
athletes in the sport of triathlon. In his short career he has won almost
every major short distance title on the global triathlon calendar including
the ITU World Cup Series. An Ironman Champion, he recently ranked 2nd overall
in the 2006 Ironman World Championships. Visit for more

    Melanie McQuaid: BC Native and three time Xterra World Champion, Melanie
is a force to be reckoned with. Visit for more

    Matt Reed: Matthew Reed, known as Boom Boom, is the U.S. Professional
Triathlon Champion, World Team Champion and a 2008 Olympic hopeful. Visit for more information.

    Marino Vanhoenacker: Born in Belgium and employed by the Belgium army,
Marino (a.k.a. "Bink") recently ranked 6th in the 2006 Ironman World
Championships and has two Ironman wins under his belt from Austria and
Florida. Visit for more information.

For further information:

For further information: CANADA CONTACT: Susan Zuzinjak, Principal,
Smitten Creative Boutique, Tel: (416) 782-5879, Email:; USA CONTACT: Lisa Snyder Consulting, Tel: (303)
601-5580, Fax: (303) 221-6747,

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