It was unlike anything the international triathlon scene had ever seen: With new world records for men and women alike Challenge Roth made triathlon history for eternity. The myth of Roth was filled with a new meaning.
After an interruption of just one week the men‘s world record is back where it belongs: in Roth. In a fantastic fight Andreas Raelert won in his Roth premiere in an incredible 7:41:33 hours, more than five minutes faster than Marino Vanhonacker from Belgium, who was only able to enjoy his world record in Klagenfurt for just seven days. Before that Roth had kept the world record for 14 Jahre years (Luc van Lierde 1997 with 7:50:27). Now it has been regained in an impressive way.
World's best triathlete Andreas Raelert
The fifth man is a woman
The world sensation was completed by three-times Hawaii-winner Chrissie Wellington, who won for the third time straight at Challenge Roth - and again with a new world record. The best female triathlete in the world was able to once again improve her own record from last year of 8:19:13 hours by one minute and crossed the finish line after exactly 8:18:13 hours. Almost as incredible: Wellington finished fifth overall and can now rightfully claim to belong among the top 5 men. The 34 year-old athlete, who presented herself in excellent shape led the race from start to finish and can currently only beat herself.
Chrissie Wellington: Dreams come true
In the men’s race European champion and vice world champion Andreas Raelert had gained the lead on the first meters of the bike course. From this point on his win was never really in any danger. Sebastian Kienle was able to come close for some time, but could not fully close the gap and therefore had to finish – as last year – a great second. Some consolation for the 27 year-old German was the worldclass-time of 7:57:06 hours, clearly below the magical eight-hour threshold. Keegan Williams from New Zealand finished third in 8:16:01 hours.
After Chrissie Wellingtons finish the 180,000 spectators had to wait for a while for the ladies in the second and third places. With a time of 8:56:23 hours the young German rookie Julia Wagner was able to make her dream come true and cross the finish line in the second spot, followed by Rebekah Keat from Australia with 8:59:22 hours.
With temperatures of 25 degrees, a mix of sun and clouds and just a little bit of wind, the tenth birthday of Challenge Roth offered perfect race conditions for the athletes, who presented the organizers with a wonderful present in the form of their sensational and unique performances.
Photos: Claudia Weinig / Robert Gerner