Race Recap: Challenge Roth
Challenge Roth took place on Sunday, July 12th and featured exciting races for both the men and women. The event had the largest audience of spectators in its history, hosting hundreds of thousands in the small Bavarian town. Nils Frommhold of Germany won the race in 7:51:28 thanks to a stellar bike split that was enough to make up for one of his weaker runs at the event. American Andrew Starykowicz set a course record on the bike leg, completing it in 4:09:13 which shattered the previous record set in 2011 by two minutes.
Yvonne van Vlerken of the Netherlands won the women’s race for the third year in a time of 8:50:53. Once she took the lead at the 21 km mark of the run, she knew she had secured another win.
The event was also the host of the “Fair Race” campaign, an anti-drafting movement backed by triathletes, referees, and influential figures in the local triathlon community who met with the event organizers to discuss their anti-drafting measures. After some major drafting in triathlon events in 2014, Challenge CEO Felix Walchshöfer was aware of the discussion surrounding drafting and initiated the campaign in light of desire to put a stop to it. As a prominent race with the title of “Best Long-Distance Race Worldwide”, Challenge Roth hoped to set a standards with new preventative measures. To keep in line with international protocol, athletes were penalized five minutes instead of the previous eight for drafting. An additional kilometre was also added to the run for those in the penalty box. Pro athletes were also asked to declare themselves against drafting by signing their names on a “Wall against Drafting.”