DATEV Challenge Roth, the famous Ironman race which is not an Ironman race

DATEV Challenge Roth, the famous Ironman race which is not an Ironman race

The distance is the Ironman distance, even though the race is not part of the official Ironman series


The race has been held since 1990 on the Ironman distance and since 1984 also on short distance. It was formerly part of the Ironman series, until 2001. It has been held independently from WTC since 2002 with the name of Challenge Roth. These days it is known as DATEV Challenge Roth and it is probably the most important Ironman distance Race in Europe with over 4,000 participants.


The Course

The first part of the race, the 3.86 km swim event, takes place in the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal around 10 km outside Roth. The subsequent 180.25 km bike course uses a two-lap course on the countryside, the course is mostly relatively flat with a tougher hill once per lap. The final marathon run goes once around a course with several turning points. Mostly the course goes on the same road after each turning point, so competitors meet each other. A major part of the course is along the Rhine–Main–Danube Canal. The finish is in central Roth.


World records set in Challenge Roth

  • Men’s record: Jan Frodeno, 2016 – 7:35:39
  • Women’s record: Chrissie Wellington, 2011 – 8:18:13

Challenge Series

Today DATEV Challenge Roth is a successful business model and mother race of the Challenge family. With over 40 Challenge races all over the world it is clear that organizer Felix Walchshöfer never regretted his decision to cancel the contract with WTC in 2002 and create his own Ironman race under the name of Challenge Roth.



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