As amazing as IM Hawaii, but with Bavarian charm

Report for Challenge Roth

From the website:
Legendary mother of the Challenge Family global series and the world's largest long distance triathlon.
Five reasons to race:
1) One of the oldest and most legendary triathlon events in the world;
2) Premium race of the highest quality;
3) Field of top international stars together with age groupers from more than 60 nations worldwide;
4) Legendary welcome given to the athletes;
5) Big triathlon festival for the whole family.
Since the mid 1980s Roth and triathlon have become as inseparably linked as Munich and its Oktoberfest. Challenge Roth is without doubt the 'heart of the triathlon' and attracts not only the biggest names in the sport but also 5,000 athletes from 60 nations and 180,000 spectators making it the largest long- distance triathlon event in the world. Roth is renowned for its thousands of enthusiastic spectators lining the course with hotspots such as the Beer Mile and the famous Solar Hill where athletes can hear the crowd before they see them. Up to 30,000 people line this famous hill you can't see the road for the people but as each cyclist approaches, the crowds separate like the parting of the Red Sea and the athletes are carried up the hill on the noise alone!
The event is also renowned for the support it receives from the community - over 4,000 volunteers and 200,000 spectators combine to create the famous Challenge atmosphere that is recreated the world over at other Challenge Family races.It helps to explain why every long-distance triathlete from all over the world wants to start at least once in his life at Challenge Roth because here dreams come true, and here you can experience famous feeling and passion for the sport together as triathlon's true family.

Location:
Triathalon Park Roth

Roth, DEU

Event Age: This event started in 2001

Overall

As amazing as IM Hawaii, but with Bavarian charm

Overall Report Topic Feedback
Event was organized
Event amenities (toilets, expo, start & finish area)
Event is friendly for people new to the sport
There is a lot to do in the area (sightseeing, shopping, etc.)
Scenic beauty of the course
Competitive field
I traveled from out of town for this event
I plan on doing this race again
I would recommend this race to a friend
Why did I select this event?: Challenge Roth is a legendary Race! You cannot beat the crowds, which number over 250,000. Hospitality is amazing, and the course is stunning.
My Training: Standard Ironman training - on the bike, I tried to train as much as possible on rolling terrain, which helped I think.
Comments: Super organized event. Logistics are complicated because it's out in the countryside and it is a split transition, but they somehow made it well organized. Big tip is to take the shuttle race morning - don't bother trying to drive yourself.

Swim Leg Feedback
How difficult did you find this swim, compared to other events of the same distance and type?
The water quality was high with clear water and good visibility.
The swim course was well marked and safe, with adequate lifeguards.
Did you wear a wet suit?
I found the water to be calm and flat with little current or chop.
Comments: The swim is pretty easy because it's all along the canal. there are a lot of wave starts spread out over a long period of time, so check the schedule and make yourself comfortable if you are in a later wave.

Bike Leg Feedback
How difficult did you find this ride compared to other rides of the same distance and type (hills, wind, etc.)?
The ride was technically challenging.
The bike course was well marked and safe with adequate traffic control (if applicable).
The riding surface was relatively clean and smooth with minimal obstructions such as loose gravel, potholes, roots, and such.
There were adequate and well stocked aid stations on the bike course.
Comments: Great bike course. Nice and rolling, only two climbs of any real substance. There is a lot of talk that this is a super-fast bike course - I personally don't see it, but I'm bigger and not fast on the climbs. My only gripe is that they put an aid station in the middle of the big climb! Hard enough to get up that without grabbing food and drink, and dragging the additional weight up the hill.

Run Leg Feedback
How difficult did you find this run compared to other runs of the same distance and type?
The run was technically challenging.
The run course was well marked and safe with adequate traffic control (if applicable).
The running surface was relatively clean and smooth with minimal obstructions such as loose gravel, potholes, roots, and such.
Comments: the course was good - not as flat as it used to be. This was the first year they changed it in about 30 years, and added some nice segments. Amazing crowd support. I was a late finisher, and the course was being dismantled the last 5k - another racer and I actually got lost toward the end, adding about 1/2 mile to our night.

Transitions Feedback
The transition area was setup in an efficient and organized manner.
The transition was secure and all gear was looked after.
Comments: Transition volunteers were amazing - I got the attention of a Pro athlete!

Closing Comments
Final comments: Absolutely a bucket-list event!
Feedback: Please don't close the course so early for later finishers. Understand if you cannot man aid stations and such

Race Tips

  1. Take the shuttle on race morning - don't try to drive
  2. They are VERY picky on helmet safety - make sure your helmet is perfect your you will buy another
  3. Leave your helmet on the bike after checkin - officials walk T1 in the morning to confirm your helmet is there and passes inspection

My Results

My time:
My place:
My splits: