We all are triathlon
Volunteers of DATEV Challenge Roth celebrate and are celebrated
Actually, it was good that not all volunteers of DATEV Challenge Roth had come to the pavilion on Monday evening. Because if all of the approx. 5,700 registered volunteers had been there, the pavilion would definitely have burst at the seams. But they are the ones who turn the triathlon in Roth into “the most enjoyable and emotional race in the world”. So Kathrin Walchshöfer, race organizer of the 2014 DATEV Challenge Roth, expressed her appreciation to the numerous volunteers.
Around 3,000 volunteers had come to the Volunteers’ Party that traditionally takes place the day after the big race, as they are part of the triathlon dream factory in Roth. There are little children who help picking up used sponges at the aid station, young people sorting thousands of athletes’ bags, and adults of all ages who make sure that it will be an unforgettable day for Timo Bracht, Mirinda Carfrae and their many, many fellow athletes. The members of the local clubs and various aid organizations, whose help is urgently needed to make the Challenge event work, took part in the celebration as well.
Unforgettable – that’s how even the top stars of the triathlon circuit described the event. Of course, the 2014 DATEV Challenge Roth, will remain unforgettable also because of the merciless weather conditions: 19 per cent of the participants had to give up this year – twice as many as in the past few years. And it would have been even more, if the volunteers – apart from attending to their actual task - had not supported them by a kind word of encouragement or a helping hand. The job the volunteers do along the race course is “simply unbelievable”, said Felix Walchshöfer, who usually organizes the Roth long-distance triathlon event, but took part in his own race this year – and finished it successfully.
The top athletes, who had all come to Roth this year to celebrate the 30th anniversary, shared this opinion one day after the race. Although they were still quite exhausted only few hours after the “hardest race in Roth in three decades” (quote from Kathrin Walchshöfer), they had all come to the Volunteers’ Party. And they were happy to stay there for a while, laughing and talking with the volunteers about this amazing event.
And they even had to stay a bit longer than they would have thought. Because the Roth triathlon fans cannot only work hard – which they have impressively demonstrated during the past few days - they can also be quite stubborn when it comes to autograph hunting. And that took definitely longer than a 3.8 kilometers swim.
So at the end of this evening the race winners did not only have sore legs, but probably also sore fingers, as autograph writing might not necessarily be the forth discipline on their training plan.
There is nothing more…
...to be said.
Felix Walchshöfer – being carried on the hands of his race managers at the Volunteers‘ Party
It’s just part of the game at the Volunteers‘ Party: Autographs from the stars.
Photos: TEAMChallenge, Robert Gerner