„Roth is Triathlon and Triathlon is Roth“
On the occasion of the Official ETU Long Distance Triathlon European Championships the city of Roth invited the delegations of European Triathlon Union ETU, the German Triathlon Union DTU, the Spanish federation and the Challenge Family to Ratibor castle. At the beginning of the reception Roth’s Mayor Ralph Edelhäußer stressed the exceptional place of Roth in the world of triathlon. In 1990 the two federations of then West and East Germany united in that same place, the Markgrafensaal to form the DTU.
Roth is characterized best by the grown triathlon structures, the citizens here have „triathlon in the heart.“ The connection between organizer and politicians works especially well here, something that was demonstrated not only by Hans Raithel who is third Mayor and chief of competition for the swim.
What the sport does to Roth was absolutely fascinating, according to Edelhäußer who spoke of love for triathlon and enthusiasm for the race. But it would be just as important to thank the many volunteers. “Where else can you find 5600 volunteers but in Roth?”
The county could almost be called “infected by triathlon fever”, was the diagnosis of Hannelore Novotny who acted upon behalf of Landrat Herbert Eckstein. “Here, you are triathlon.” From an early age triathlon is part of the story of every citizen’s life here.
ETU President Renato Bertrandi also had this thought. Since 1990 he was fascinated by triathlon, almost fanatic about it, he stated. Triathlon would be more than a sport, more a life philosophy, he said. Now, while experiencing the special atmosphere in Roth, he even thought about being active himself again, to swim, bike and do the marathon in a race.
To organize an event of this size requires a lot of support. He got a view behind the scenes of the race in Roth and was grateful for the support of all those who make Roth what it is: “impressive.”
In place of DTU President Dr. Martin Engelhardt spoke Vice President Bernd Rollar and was proud to have the European Championships here in Germany. “Roth would be a great place for a triathlon museum as well,” he said full of respect for the historic triathlon town.
Felix Walchshöfer said a particular „Thank you“ to the Secretary General of the Spanish federation, Alicia Garcia Pérez who played a key role in the ETU’s decision for Roth as host. Walchshöfer also thanked ETU for the good working atmosphere and the trust put into the Challenge Family. After the change in leadership at DTU the cooperation with the German federation was good as well. He was proud to have Roth named host of the German Championships for three years, starting in 2013.
The city of Roth as well as the county had always had an open ear and provides support wherever possible. Walchshöfer stressed that he was especially grateful for that. The short ways paid off now, according to him.
Renato Bertrandi and Alicia Gercia Pérez afterwards were honoured with a journalization in the Golden Book of the city of Roth.