From behind the scenes to the spotlight

In addition to a heartfelt thank you speech from TEAMCHALLENGE race director Felix Walchshöfer, volunteers were also thanked with the opportunity to win a large selection of raffle prizes. For Yvonne van Vlerken, who is getting married in two weeks, her homestay family organsised an ‘unofficial’ hen party, complete with veil!
Picture: Claudia Weinig, TEAMCHALLENGE


Great thank you party for the volunteers

Blisters on hands and feet from handling and filling so many water bottles; broken fingernails from fixing things quickly, tired eyes, because there was simply no time to sleep. Around 7,000 children, young people and adults rolled up their sleeves to make DATEV Challenge Roth 2018 become what Sebastian Kienle described as an "indescribable experience". The evening after the big race, the roles were reversed. Now they were the centre of attention at the DATEV Challenge Roth Volunteer Party.

It took race director Felix Walchshöfer a good 10 minutes to thank everyone and that’s no surprise. In T2 alone, around 700 helpers of all ages were involved in helping athletes make the smooth transition from the bike to the run. And everyone was treated with the same attention, whether a pro athlete or age grouper.

They do it with such passion. Sebi Kienle clarified what makes them so different. "Here I have never missed a single bottle of water. This often happens to me in a race when people stand like the Statue of Liberty. But here in Roth, the volunteers literally run alongside you in the truest sense of the word.”

Runner-up Andreas Dreitz had the same sentiments to the ‘volunteer army’. "I had a fantastic day here - and you contributed significantly to this.”

Both said, together with their fellow athletes, that they were the real competitors in the race - Jesse Thomas, women's winner Daniele Sämmler, runner-up Lucy Charles and crowd pleaser Yvonne van Vlerken all echoed their "thank yous, and their fingers almost matched the same number of blisters as their feet after signing autographs for so long, but even the very last selfie was done in good spirits.

Roth's mayor, Ralph Edelhäußer, who thanked the "good spirits in the background", called the region "crazy beautiful". "Crazy" due to the enthusiasm - which incidentally does not exclude politicians themselves! The best example of this is the "Solar Hill Mayor" of Hilpoltstein, Markus Mahl. Because he commented so passionately on "la Ola del Solar" for hours on Sunday, he had no voice left for the volunteer party!

For many there was a big thank you to take home, include a Ford Mustang for the weekend, EMS training vouchers, and an iPad including digital subscriptions, and all because this volunteer crew is “the real deal”. Just ask Yvonne van Vlerken, they’re the reason she’s raced in Roth eight times – watch this space...

DATEV Challenge Roth 2018 champions thank the volunteers by spending many hours signing autographs and taking selfies with them. 
Picture: Claudia Weinig, TEAMCHALLENGE


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