"Family reunion" at Challenge Kick-Off Weekend

"Family reunion" at Challenge Kick-Off Weekend
Sun-filled Challenge weekend raising 3,300 euros for a good cause

Perfect weather conditions and hundreds of relaxed participants made the big Challenge Kick-Off weekend a great success. From the Challenge Women Active Day and charity swim on Saturday to the bike course recce on Sunday, hundreds of Challenge athletes and fans enjoyed a dream triathlon weekend that was like a family reunion under the blue skies of triathlon-mad Roth.

Sport, sun and happy participants
At the Challenge Women Active Day on Saturday, over 40 women joined professional triathlete Daniela Sämmler, who will take part in DATEV Challenge Roth on 1 July. After a short welcome and warm-up at Sparkasse Mittelfranken-Süd the participants headed off for a run and received valuable tips from the pro triathlete, which could be put into action during the final discipline on race day. The walkers had the opportunity to train with Smovey trainer Anita Grabendorfer. She also gave valuable tips and showed what is important when walking and when using with Smovey rings. After a stretch session, everyone enjoyed the brunch buffet, which was prepared again this year by the Sparkasse Mittelfranken-Süd. Erdinger also produced alcohol-free refreshments with Weißbier-Mix drinks. The day also featured information and product testing from AOK, New Balance, Erdinger Alkoholfrei, Zonta and Team smovey2smile.

Charity swim with a beach atmosphere
There was a real beach feeling in the afternoon at the Roth Swimming Pool. The big charity swim took place in almost midsummer temperatures under the slogan "Every lane counts". The event attracted a huge 214 swimmers who swam a total of 5,950 laps for charity. Led by triathletes Daniela Sämmler and Wenke Kujala, Roth's mayor Ralph Edelhäußer and several city councillors took the plunge into the warm water in the "Celebrity Swim". Together, they made a respectable 2,975 euros, which TEAMCHALLENGE increased to a total of 3,300 euros. This year, the proceeds went to Rother Kreisklinikum for the charity "Klinik Clowns". With this money, the Verein Klinik Clowns Bayern e.V. can run for one year to bring a smile to both young and old patients. The Klinic Clowns were onsite at the swim and entertained the visitors and gave out balloons to all the children. The Städtische Kindertagesstätte Roth did the catering for the event with cool drinks and lovingly prepared sweet and savoury snacks that were hard to refuse. Junior Challenge also had a display to promote the popular event in the lead-up to the flagship DATEV Challenge Roth race.

Charity Swim cheque handover at the TEAMCHALLENGE offices.
From L-R: Werner Rupp Board of Directors Kreisklinik Roth, Pfiffikus, Elisabeth Makepeace Head of Clinic Clowns Bayern eV, Bettina Honeiser Deputy Head of Nursing Kreisklinik Roth, Kathrin Walchshöfer- Helneder CEO Challenge Roth GmbH, Katja Laux Deputy Branch Director Sparkasse Mittelfranken South, Torsten Hahn Speck Pumpen Head of Business Organization, Annika Erhardt Consultant for Sport and Health Management Memmert GmbH & Co. KG

Big donation to the local hospital
A 3,300 euro cheque, the proceeds from the charity swim was handed over on the same day by Kathrin Walchshöfer-Helneder to Werner Rupp and Bettina Honeiser from Kreisklinik Roth. Elisabeth Makepeace and Pfiffikus the Clown from KlinikClowns were there as well as representatives from Sparkasse Mittelfranken-Süd and the Speck Pumpen and Memmert GmbH & Co.KG, who had supported the dedicated swimmers, were also present. The patients in the Kreisklinik Roth will be grateful to them when they receive a visit from the KlinikClowns in the near future.

A successful start to the Race of the Year
Another highlight of the Kick-Off Weekend was the recce of the DATEV Challenge Roth bike and run courses. The ‘cult event’ was, as always, well organized by Matthias Fritsch (Professional Endurance Team) and received outstanding support from top athletes Andreas Dreitz, Jan Raphael and Daniela Sämmler. 15 volunteers were on hand as guides, eight riders were on course safety, and more than 230 athletes couldn’t resist the invitation to a "family reunion" with fellow triathletes. The participants rode about 100km of the bike course, as well as visited transition zones, before heading out on the run course to the turnaround point in Büchenbach and back. Matthias Fritsch from Professional Endurance Team and the pro triathletes gave valuable tips for the race, explained in detail the transition zones and the race weekend schedule. But the participants also came to meet friends, talk to other athletes about the best possible preparation, and get in the mood for the big day on 1 July. Athletes travelled from all over Europe, including northern Germany, Switzerland and Prague, to enjoy a fantastic training day in the sunshine. "I already know the course, but I wouldn’t want to miss this kick-off as a prelude to my 'race of the year,'” was the common theme amongst the participants.

Photo credits:
Photos Challenge Women: Norbert Wilhelmi
Photos charity-swim and cycling: Luise Köstler
Photos cheque handover: TEAMCHALLENGE GmbH

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