Team Memmert overcomes "Heat" Challenge Roth

Local Team Memmert joins 4500 other athletes to celebrate the 30th birthday of the worldfamous Challenge Roth. This year, six single starters and six relay teams from Memmert were back to take the long-distance "challenge" triathlon again. The challenge included a 3.8 km swim, a 180 km cycle followed by a 42 km marathon. As if that weren't enough, the athletes, who are usually used to the heat, were doing all of this under extraordinarily exerting conditions.

Not only the close and hot temperatures, but also the high ozone levels didn’t make things any easier for the athletes. Professional and amateur athletes alike suffered and had to be content with lesser results than they were hoping for or even had to drop out before crossing the finish line.

How our athletes experienced the day

At 6:30 in the morning, the starting signal went off for the first leg of the race that started at the Main Danube Canal. After a time of 52:22 minutes, pro athlete Sebastian Bleisteiner, sporting a Memmert jersey, climbed onto his bicycle and took off on the second leg of the race. Famous for being a good cyclist, he surprisingly completed the second leg in 30th place only. With a time of 4:42:51 h, he was far slower than last year, but his watt measuring device, the performance indicator for cyclists, showed 20 watt more on average, indicating that the Team Memmert pro was on the right track. He had also lost time in the race due to headwinds. In the third and final leg of the race, Sebastian Bleisteiner was one of the few who had paced himself during the cycling leg and didn't let his poor time affect him as he took off in the final run. He then managed to make up position after position, whilst others lost minute after minute. After 8:48:22 h, he happily crossed the finishing line and came in 15th in the overall ranking, which was, especially this year, dominated by many professional athletes.

Benedikt Spangenberg from our R & D department did not choose the easiest day for his debut. But he, too, did not pointlessly wasted his energy, but swam a good time of 1:06:23 h and paced himself on the cycling leg. This strategy worked out well. He did a good job in the final leg, crossing the finishing line in the triathlon park after 11:39:05 h - on his last legs but very happy indeed.

Matthias Röser also celebrated an anniversary. He finished his 10th Challenge in Roth very successfully, too. Even though he isn't one for the heat, he did a good job on the running course with a time of 3:23:49 h. He practically flew by 50 fellow competitors despite having stepped on broken glass at the swim start. After 9:32:14 h, he crossed the finishing line as one of the few athletes without any major losses, as did Sebastian Bleisteiner.

And then there was Nishit Biniwale, 22 years young, who came here with his whole family from India and was the only athlete to represent his country in the long-distance race. Last year, he participated in his first long-distance race in Klagenfurt and now wanted to experience first-hand the triathlon mecca in Roth that everyone is talking about. His was not disappointed. In fact, it exceeded his expectations. Whether the swimming leg, the cycling leg or the running course along the canal, crowds and athletes gathered in support, cheering the competitors on individually thanks to the athlete names on the number sheets. This is the atmosphere for which Roth has become so famous and which no other triathlon in the world has.

Unfortunately, two Memmert athletes were not so lucky that day. Benjamin Kohler had problems keeping his pre-race supplements down after just half of the cycling leg. Exhausted, he had to drop out of the race after 3.7 km. Günther Lauterbach wasn't any luckier. He managed to hold out for 31 km of the final leg despite muscular problems but then it was "rien ne va plus" for him as well on that memorable day...

The Memmert relay runners felt a little more fortunate since they could "split" the work. As in the previous year, many Memmert employees took their chance again and participated in the Challenge Roth together.

With Sebastian Reinwand, Stefan Lehnert and Vinodkuar Shrinivas, we sent an ambitious relay team into the race. They managed to hold up well against some professional athletic teams, finishing in an impressive 7th place in the men's rounds. The other teams' results were really good as well. Our managing director Christiane Riefler-Karpa crossed the finishing line alongside Gregor Stützinger and Juergen Pruetzl after 10:20:42 h and came in 32nd in the mixed results. Just six minutes later and seven places down in the ranking, Andrea Weiß crossed the finishing line with her fellow relay team members, cyclist Marco Eckstein and runner Matthias Beil.

Head of development Ralf Achtnicht and Harald von Blumenthal from the customer service department continued their friendly 1-1 race at the Rothsee Triathlon. With a very good time of less than one hour in the swimming leg, Mark Fischer sent his cyclist Ronal Mühe into the second leg with a considerable head start. Ralf Achtnicht felt better than ever before in the final leg, the marathon. He was delighted with his time of 4:32:23 h, even it wasn’t quite enough to beat Harald von Blumenthal, who managed to stay below the 5 hour mark with a time of 4:59:27.

More highlights

In the tried and tested manner, the competition for the little ones took place on Friday and Saturday of the great Challenge weekend, the Junior Challenge/Challenge4all, in which the kids were given the opportunity to show what they could do in a family relay or in the three other triathlon disciplines. In the context of our young talent promotion, we happily supported the event with our sponsorship.

But it wasn't only the Triathlon in Roth that was celebrating its 30-year anniversary. In fact, we are very proud to say that we have someone in our midst who has been there from the very beginning: Salvatore Giurdanella, a well respected colleague from our factory in Büchenbach and a passionate sports photographer. He hasn't missed a single Challenge Roth in the past 30 years. Not a single iron man or woman has ever escaped his lens. Happy anniversary!