2018-07-02

"Whether first or last across the finish line"

The stadium with room for more than ten thousand spectators is bathed in atmospheric light in the evening and sets the stage for the legendary finishvline party. Photo: TEAMCHALLENGE, Christoph Raithel
Photo: TEAMCHALLENGE, Christoph Raithel

 

"Whether first or last across the finish line"
At the Finish Line Party, all age groupers are celebrated like first place finishers

The race is already over 14 hours old, and now it is now the hour of the age grouper in the finish stadium. They are constantly coming to the finish, individual starters and relay teams. They are celebrated like the top athletes who crossed the finish line six hours ago.

When the athletes come to the finish line, there are 3.8km of  swimming, 180km of cycling and the final marathon and countless hot spots behind them. The last 100 meters turns everything upside down - the stadium is shaking! The music and the party mood of the commentators make the finish line an unforgettable event.

When twilight sets in above the Roth Triathlon Park, not only age groupers come to the finish line, the top athletes also return to the place of their success. For Sebastian Kienle, nothing cold beat crossing the finish line first here. "But when it comes to the end of my professional career, I'm already thinking about having a very slow race and arriving here in the stadium in the evening - the party is really amazing!"

It becomes particularly emotional when disabled athletes enter the finish stadium. Fathers come in with their children. Such as a finisher who comes across the line with his two children and on his t-shirt is "This is for you Dad! RIP 2018". It's these little stories and moments that make the finish line party not only a big party, but also one of the emotional highlights of the race day. There are tears in the eyes of those who cross the finish line.

For Daniela Sämmler, a dream came true that day. She did not thing she would take the win but she ought to the end and won with a new German best time.

And even though there are more than six hours between the finish times of the pro athletes and many age-group athletes who only come to the finish stadium in the dark, everyone is equal. Everyone gets their medal at the finish. At a late hour, it is the professional athletes themselves who distribute the medals, like Laura Siddal, who obviously enjoys personally congratulating everyone and welcoming them with a hug at the finish.

Then the finish line announces that sparklers will be distributed to the audience. However, before the officially final finisher enters the stadium, Alice, Kathrin and Felix Walchshöfer take to the stage in the middle of the stadium. Their main thanks go to the approximately 7,000 volunteers, the entire county, who makes such a triathlon festival possible. We are incredibly proud of the records that fell to day, but also of every single crosses the finish line here. Like Dong Guo from Shanghai, who with two torches turns the final lap in the finish stadium and finishes in 15:02:53 as the official last finisher. With a loud bang, the spectacular final fireworks show marks the end of DATEV Challenge Roth.

 


When Dong Guo from Shanghai crosses the finish line with two torches, he is the last official finisher and marks the start of the grand fireworks finale.
Foto: TEAMCHALLENGE, Christoph Raithel

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