Challenge Roth, Germany

 

Time of year: July

Value for money: 3

Location: 4

Crowd support: 5

Organisation: 5

PB potential: 3

Course: Undulating 2-lap bike course and flat 1-lap run

Competitors: 4000

Locality: Roth is a small town which comes alive at this time of year. The atmosphere is fantastic and there are also a number of other pretty towns and things to see once the race is finished.I think that because it is such a big event a lot of the accommodation is more expensive and it can be difficult to find hotels etc near the race start.

Getting there: When checking flights for my parents, the easiest way to get to Roth is to fly to Nuremburg and then travel to Roth by train or rent aq car and drive there. It’s only about an hour.

Webpage:  http://www.challenge-roth.com/en/index.html

My experience: When we arrived in Roth and saw all of the banners and athletes it made me feel very proud and excited. After picking up my number and looking round the place I could not wait to get started. We arrived on Thursday so there was a bit of a wait until race day. We spent the time looking around little places and I did a small amount of training.

On race day we got up at 3.30am as the race was about 30-40 minute drive from our apartment and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity to park near the start. As it was we arrived and were one of the first cars in the car park! It was a long and nerve wracking wait to start but once I got in the water it was exactly as I had imagined – there were people everywhere and there was the big banner on the bridge which I had seen in the race videos. It was incredible.

The end of the swim was difficult due to a reasonably strong current but I was pleased to see that I got out of the water on target. I knew the bike course could be quick so I was hoping to do well but that was not how it panned out.

There was a lot of wind and I had to work harder than I wanted to on the bike. To compensate for this I ate more at the aid stations which I hoped would help me but when I started running, I got a gel at the first aid station and suddenly my stomach shut down and I had all sorts of problems moving forward. I tried to make myself sick and walk for a while and in the end, after about 20km, I managed to start running again.

I finally finished in 10h08, which was a surprise, but I didn’t manage to go under 10 hours which I was expecting to do and therefore I felt quite disappointed with my race but I am still quite new to long course racing and I learnt that it doesn’t matter how long it takes you on the day, it’s more important how you deal with the problems you have and do your best at all times.

Although not the best day I’ve had at a triathlon, it’s a must do for any long course triathlete.

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