The day dreams came true

Now he has won all the important triathlons in the world: Sebastian Kienle at the finish line after 7:46:23 hours.
Picture: Christoph Raithel, TEAMCHALLENGE


German double win at theDATEV Challenge Roth for Sebastian Kienle and Daniela Sämmler

Sebastian Kienle’s career is now complete. The Hawaii-Winner from 2014, two-time half distance world champion and the Frankfurt winner has now added the last triathlon of the “Big 4” to his list. The 33-year old won the DATEV Challenge Roth after a third try. The fact that he almost swam, biked and ran Jan Frodeno’s world best times from 2016, was an extra treat for the unbelievable number of spectators along the 226 kilometer race course.

Kienle profited from three factors. First, during the swim which was thought to be his weakest discipline he was able to hold on with the best and in the shadow of the competition was able to save some strength. Second: during the bike course he had to take up with the likes of Australian, Cameron Wurf , who is a bear of a machine on a bicycle. And third: the conditions were simply ideal: radiant sunshine, comfortable temperatures and as usual a top-organization through TEAMCHALLENGE and their over 7500 helpers and volunteers.

Time stood still at 7:46:23 hours for Sebastian Kienle in the city garden of Roth. The only athletes that have ever been faster were Jan Frodeno with his world record in 2016 of 7:35:39 hours and Andreas Raelert in 2011 with a time of 7:41:33 hours. Even behind Kienle there was an absolute performance explosion. Andreas Dreitz made the German double win complete after coming in second (3,8 kmswim, 180 km bike, 42,195 km run) in 7:53:06 and this was only his second long distance race! The American, Jesse Thomas (7:54:38 hours) and last years runner-up Joe Skipper from England (7:56:57 hours), along with the Australian, Cameron Wurf (7:58:17 hours) and James Cunnama of South Africa,  (7:59:15 hours) brought four more men under the magical 8-hour mark.

Sebastian Kienle did not expect anything more or anything less that winning the race. But it wasn’t at all a sure thing. “It was incredibly hard, but it was also incredibly awesome”, the 33-year old said behind the finish line. And to the spectators in the overflowing stadium: “I hope, that you will all be able to experience something like I did today once in your lifetime”.

Even more exciting than the men’s race was the development of the race among the women. England’s, Lucy Charles seemed to be following a start to finish win strategy. The 24-year old pounded the Main-Danube-Canal’s 10-year old swim record (she was even faster than the fastest men) and held the competition at a distance along the 180 kilometers of the bike course.

But Daniela Sämmler worked her way up behind Charles second by second. After the swim she was behind by only seven minutes. After the bike course it was half of that. And in the final marathon she went along in a controlled manner – turning up the speed at kilometer 21. Soon she had her competitor in sight and seven kilometers before the finish line she passed her. The decision? No quite, Saemmler was experiencing cramps during the last five kilometers, Lucy Charles would not allow herself be shaken off. And from behind another strong runner, Kaisa Sali from Finland kept getting dangerously closer.

The race was only decided during the last few kilometers. Daniela Saemmler saved herself with nine seconds crossing the finish line in front of Lucy Charles– a half round in the stadium after 3,8 kilometers swim, 180 kilometers bike and 42,195 kilometers run.

For the first time since Nicole Leder in 2004 has there been a German winner at the DATEV Challenge Roth. Daniela Sämmler had to set a new German record for that.
Picture: Christoph Raithel, TEAMCHALLENGE


A race to go down in history. It was only tighter 14 years ago when the athlete from Darmstadt, Lothar Leder “knocked out” the Australian, Chris McCormack after a final sprint on the finish line. 

Daniela Sämmler can not only be happy over a record prize money – a total of 200,000 dollars will be distributed – but also with a bonus for a new German record. In 8:43:42 hours she was a good 3 minutes faster than the previous record holder, Sandra Wallenhorst. With

Lucy Charles (8:43:51 hours), Kaisa Sali (8:46:49 hours), Laura Siddall (8:48:42 hours) and the spectators favorite, Yvonne van Vlerken (8:54:40 hours) another four athletes stayed under the nine-hour-barrier.

A total of 3400 single starters and 650 relays took part at the DATEV Challenge Roth. If one takes into consideration all the additional competitions (Womens Run, Nightrun, Junior-Challenge, Challenge-forAll and the Childrens run) then the Triathlon-Weekend got over 10,000 men, women, youths and children moving.


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