A combination of factors come into play to make the Challenge Roth triathlon the race where iron-distance records are broken. In the most recent edition on July 10, both Andreas Raelert and Chrissie Wellington established new world records. Here’s a unique look into why this venue makes for blazing times.
The swim in Donau Canal is a single counterclockwise loop. The bike course on its face is not anything earth shattering; it doesn’t have the legendary Mumuku winds of Kona and it lacks massive climbs like those found at Lanzarote’s Timanfaya Park. It’s two loops, heading south toward the town of Greding before turning north again to Roth.
But it does have its signature character: Solarer Berg.
“Solarer Hill is absolutely crazy,” Challenge Roth race director Felix Walchshofer told Triathlete.com back in 2009. “Athletes will get around the corner and will hear the noise of the crowds. After a right turn, they’ll see 25,000 spectators. I get goose bumps talking about it, but it’s like a wall of people, and they pass out of way just as the riders come up. It’s our own Tour de France climb.”
The run is a flat effort with two out-and-back sections on the south and north end. Walchshofer explained the finish is not to be missed. “The last finisher experiences the sparklers, huge fireworks,” he said. “For me, the last finisher is an even more special moment than the first finisher.”
But what makes Roth the ideal location for blazing iron-distance times?