Timo Bracht of Germany celebrates winning the Challenge Roth on July 20, 2014 in Roth, Germany Timo Bracht


ROTH, GERMANY - JULY 14:  Caroline Steffen of Switzerland celebrates winning the womens event during the Challenge Roth Triathlon on July 14, 2013 in Roth, Germany. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)CHALLENGE today announced a significant change to the DATEV Challenge Roth course. For the first time in the more than 30-year history of the Roth Triathlon, a new two-lap run course has been designed to be more athlete and spectator-friendly.

The new route links the towns of Roth and Büchenbach, together with the canal in a T-shaped course, which is completed twice. With each out-and-back section of the ‘T’ at 10.2km, runners pass each point of the course four times. With an additional 1.4km of connecting routes at the bottom of the T, the classic marathon distance of 42.195km is reached.

challenge roth 2014 bike course
Review: Challenge Roth – one of the greatest races on earth

Organisers say: “the condensed course is much more spectator-friendly. It is easy to walk from the bike-run transition to the course and be able to see the athletes four times as they pass within a relatively short distance without the need for a bike or public transport. This is especially good for families with children.”

Obviously, with the spectators comes an added atmosphere for runners but Challenge also say the course has wide paved roads rather than the narrow gravel canal track providing more room for overtaking and a smoother running surface.

Lastly, the aid stations and hotspots will be even closer together. The previous section of Schleuse Leerstetten – Schwand – Haimpfarrich – Eckersmühlen will no longer be used.

The big question – will it affect times at this iconic and huge race. The answer according to Challenge: no!

They say: “The new course will probably have no effect on the fastest times. Although the terrain is somewhat hilly just before Büchenbach, there is downhill at Leerstetten and Eckersmühlen. In addition, it is much faster on asphalt roads than on gravel roads.”

For our full review of Challenge Roth (one of our bucket-list races) click here.

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