Memmert-Family meets Challenge family in Roth

The longest day of the year ─ at least from the triathletes point of view ─ is the day of the Roth Challenge each year. When you look at the tough numbers you know why that is: 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.195 km running. That is not the only reason why more than 5000 participants from 70 different nations make the placid, small town of Roth their triathlon Mecca each year. It is the very special atmosphere of the Challenge family, which you can only experience in Roth. Here, catering at the side of the tracks is almost a hereditary right, athletes stay with local families instead of staying at hotels and the whole district actively takes part from the early hours of the morning until late at night. Each year, Memmert brings this unique atmosphere not only to their employees and athletes but also supports the event a regional sponsor at the Challenge and the Rothsee Triathlon Festival.

Team Memmert in the thick of it

After last year's heat, the weather god was more merciful this year and spared the athletes sweltering heat. There was more wind on the cycle track instead, which was at least much appreciated by the runners.

Team Memmert professional athlete Sebastian Bleisteiner had an unexpected perfect day. After a few setbacks in the season, he had buried his ambitious goal of achieving a personal best but was proven wrong. He started swimming relatively slowly and then changed after 49:59 min to cycling. There, he was on a roll and made the most of it as he says himself. His time was 4:39:36 h. He had highs and lows when running, almost gave up halfway and then gained speed the last 10 km towards the finish line. His perseverance was awarded with rank 16 and a fantastic new personal best of 8:35:42 h. You could definitely see his relief and triumph.

Successful revenge. Two weeks earlier at the Rothsee Triathlon Festival, Hannes Rupprecht crossed the finishing line before his head of department Gregor Stützinger but at the Challenge, the more experienced athlete won. Hannes Rupprecht was nevertehless almost perfectly happy with his first long distance run, but he still struggles with stomach problems while running and says: 'I can do better so there will definitely be a second time'!

Kevin Löhlein, another runner who made his debut, was supported by his entire family true to the motto of the event "We are Challenge family". After 11:52:55 h, he proudly crossed the finishing line. Marco Ecksteins' big goal was sub10. For a while, it looked like it would work out. However, after half the marathon distance, he also had stomach issues which cost him a lot of time. He still fought until the end and crossed the finishing line as the second team Memmert athlete after 10:21:58 h. Shortly after him, a perfectly happy Benedikt Spangenberg crossed the finishing line. Compared to last year's seemingly never-ending running kilometers, this year everything went like clockwork. From swimming to running he realised his trainer's demands and reduced his time by more than 50 min so that he had a total time of 10:33:17 in the end. Gabi Weiß was the only woman flying the Memmert flag. She corssed the finishing line after 13:24:40 h.

... even at the side of the tracks

While the team Memmert protagonists struggled on the tracks, a large part of the Memmert-Family was at the water station in Schwand and provided the athletes with enough water. Some watched their colleagues crossing the finishing line from the comfortable barbecue stand roughly 300 metres away and greeted them with Nuremberger bratwurst after they completed their challenge.

Team Memmert relays

With the odour of savoury barbecue, the relay runners were received by their team members and crossed the finishing line together. As in the past few years, there were five Memmert relays enabling participants a 'gentle' start into the triathlon long distance. Our relay with only young women from the region even managed to come 6th in the overall ranking. Sophia Ramsauer (swimming 1:02:18 h) handed over to Julia Ramsauer (bicycle), who managed a miraculous 5:27:21 h, a time even hard for men to achieve and Annika Ehrhardt (3:39:13 h) ran the marathon and secured their great positioning. Next year, the three girls want to top their overall time of 10:12:25 h to under 10 h if possible.

Running ace Sebastian Reinwand, gave everything he had while swimming at 57:21 min and Stephan Lehner, after another 4:57:53 h for cycling handed over to Michael Batz for running. His performance on the running track was simply stunning. In his first marathon ever, the passionate runner from Team Memmert showed what he was made of. In a controlled manner, he crossed the half marathon mark in 1:23 h and in the second half added a nearly effortless 1:19 h. With that he managed to achieve the second best time of the day and he catapulted Team Memmert up on the ranking list, namely at 5th place with a total time of 8:39:31 h.

Memmert team three required 10:21:12 h and was started by our external sales colleague Mark Fischer (swimming, 59:02 min.), followed by Benjamin Kohler (bicycle, 5:33:05 h) and marathon man Jürgen Prützel (3:45:35 h).

As we know, after the Challenge is before the Challenge. Preparations and trainings for 2016 are already now in full swing – for those who intend to improve and even for those who have been caught by the triathlon fever and are now highly motivated for their debut in the upcoming year, might be as a single starter or in a relay team. It leaves us to say: have fun training, we are excited about Challenge Roth 2016!