There are a lot of great races, but if you’re looking for the ultimate Ironman-distance race experience, Challenge Roth should be at the top of your list. While the race may be known for record breaking performances, it’s defined by the people, the spirit and memories made.
Since as there’s so much to love about roth, we thought we’d put together this pictorial to try and capture our highlights.
The race is the talk of the beautiful Bavarian town for months ahead. Athletes are shown a warm welcome with days of pre-race events and festivities. There is a concert for locals, women and childrens races, an alkoholfrei party, an enormous expo, and of course the carbo welcome party!
The Swim Start
There is nothing quite like the sun-rise over the canal in Hilpoltstein! The crowds, the anticipation, the still water, the Challenge anthem, and of course the start cannon used for every wave that reverberates through your chest.
The Bike Course
Bavaria is a beautiful region, and the bike course has some stunning views of the countryside when not passing through a town and cheering crowd. The roads are silky smooth giving the course a reputation for being super fast, however, there are more false flats and hills than you’d expect!
If you’ve ever dreamed of being cheered-on as if you were in the Tour de France, this is your chance! The climb out of Hilpoltstein is lined with with spectators 10 people deep, cheering, clapping and whistling. The noise is deafening as the crowd splits ahead of you forming a single bike width route to the top. A truly magical sight!
The run course has changed in recent years to loop back through Roth twice to ensure there’s great support through every mile. Generally it’s flat and fast and you can rely on unbelievably well stocked aid stations with plenty of cold water sponges being handed out by the thousands of helpers to combat the heat.
The Finish Party
There aren’t many events where you finish the race in a purpose built stadium! Arriving into the stadium to a wall of noise and packed stands, every athlete runs a loop of the perimeter taking the applause before crossing the finish line. The party really starts as the last athlete under the cut off is welcomed into the stadium with torches, sparklers and fireworks!
Over 7000 volunteers look after 4000 competitors during the weekend. They’re vital in making sure the event is a success and return year on year. Its the whole communities overwhelming support of the race that ensures you feel welcome and catered for at every turn.
Meeting Your Heroes
As a bucket list race, the event draws some of the largest names in the sport. Although there are no Kona spots up for grabs, some good prize money, PB potential and sponsor visibility means the field is always stacked. Expect to bump into the best in the world as well as legends of the sport who return year on year.
Beyond the race itself, the kindness of the community in opening their homes to so many visiting athletes and their family’s is simply amazing. We’ve made many friends over the years, sharing stories, experiences and creating memories that will last a lifetime.