2018-06-30

Active fun for all generations


Almost 40 Bambinis, together with commentator Matthias, are looking forward to the start of the „Junior Challenge“.
Foto: Steffi Graff/TEAMCHALLENGE

 

800 participants at “Challenge-forAll”

When the little one swims, Dad bikes and Mom runs while Granny cheers them on from the stands, then it’s “Challenge-forAll” in Roth. Everyone is welcome to participate: single starters, families, teams of co-workers. This event is about one thing only: Having fun while being active!

Saturday is the day for families and kids. This is the day when the popular family relay team races take place, when hobby athletes, ambitious (and in some cases very well equipped) kids and teens in different age groups and also the very youngest get active. When the starting signal rang for the first of 13 starter groups this Saturday, there was someone in charge who really cares about the next generation of athletes: It was Belinda Granger, who sent the young athletes on their way.

There were 800 participants in Friday’s and Saturday’s races, and some more would have liked to join, but the Challenge-forAll with its Junior Challenge was fully booked already. After 14 years, the “little brother” of the “mother of all long distance races” has become a brand in its own right and every year, it brings active families from all over to the beautiful public pool in Roth. They come from near and far; some from pretty far away. But if you are in Roth for Sunday’s DATEV Challenge Roth anyway, why not participate in the Junior Challenge, too? This makes for a pretty international list of starters, even in the age groups for kids and teens. And this also leads to some confused looks during the race briefing because of language barriers.

The family relay teams are literally a family affair where different generations work hand in hand to pass on the transponder at the changing zones. Being active together and having a good time. That’s what this event is about. Some families keep coming back and come up with whole new challenges: The siblings Julia (14), Johannes (22) and Katharina (20) have participated many times already and this time they were happy to beat the competition, namely a trio of their father, mother and aunt, to the finish line. “They will be here soon” they said laughing. 

The Bambinis, born in  2012 and 5 or 6 years old, can skip the bike course and “only” have to swim and run, because at that age, some of them are not that experienced on the bike yet. The youngest ones are the last group of starters, which gives them the most time to be nervous before the start, but they are also the ones who get the biggest applause after crossing the finish line.

And before the race, they get a very special warm-up by commentator Matthias. After that they go single file to the edge of the pool. Frenetically waiving parents and grandparents on the stands try to guide the boys and girls through the pool. Lifeguards keep an eye on the kids too, while they are splashing through the water and at the end of the pool they pick them out of the water. With a little help, they change into t-shirts and running shoes at the changing zone and then they are on their way again. Behind the finish line, their families are awaiting them with mobile phones and cameras ready, but also with open arms and teary eyes. The final moments of the Challenge for All is such a lovely sight!

After the race, as a reward for their effort, they get a heavy medal and a bright blue finisher t-shirt. 200 volunteers, headed by organizers Jeanette and Thomas Seifert, have once again made it a great event and they made many people proud and happy. While the presentation ceremony is still ongoing, some of the volunteers already get active again and start putting away the barriers at the public pool. They want to finish their work as early as possible, because many of them will be on duty again tomorrow to help make the DATEV Challenge Roth happen.

 

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