Challenge Roth 2014: Results Analysis

Challenge Roth: it’s one of the biggest Ironman distance races out there, but I’ve only the time to give a short review of this year’s results. The course in Roth is fast, record breaking in fact. It’s a good place to go for that sub-10 goal, or if you’re right at the sharp end sub-9 in fact. This year though, it looks to have been a little slower than usual.

Median Splits by Age Group at Challenge Roth 2014
Median Splits by Age Group at Challenge Roth 2010-2013

First thing to note – the pros are separately categorised form the age groupers in this year’s results. This will have some impact on some of these charts, but as medians are used it shouldn’t be too significant. For most age groups the 2014 splits are slower across all three disciplines, although it’s not always by a large amount. Generally it’s the run that has taken the biggest relative hit.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Challenge Roth Comparing 2014 with 2010-2013

Comparing split distributions confirms this – each discipline is distributed slower than in past result with the run being the one most significantly shifted. The impact is through the field from the top 5% to the median point. Not a fast year for Roth.

Top Twenty Male Performances by Age Group at Challenge Roth 2014
Top Twenty Female Performances by Age Group at Challenge Roth 2014

To round out this quick look at the result the top twenties again confirm that times are generally slower. At the very front in younger age groups this is partly because of the separation of the pro athletes, but in most divisions times from first to twentieth are the slowest seen in recent years.

None of my athletes raced in Roth this year and I’ve little to go on to explain the slower results. Conditions may well have played a roll and if the run was hot would help explain slower times. Whatever the cause Roth still remains one of the faster Ironman courses even on an off day.

All Ironman Results and Statistics

A growing collection of results and statistics for the whole Ironman race calendar.

Find out what it takes to place in your age group or to qualify for the Ironman Worlds Championships in Kona.


  • Nadine

    I was there and it was incredibly hot, abt 30°C already at 8:00 am. There have been only a light breeze but that could not cool you down on the bike.

  • Thanks Nadine. I suspected it was probably heat that was the issue and you and a couple of others have confirmed this for me. Hot temperatures always slow the splits, especially the run.

  • Arno

    I was there too , and yes it was hot , and maybe more importantly humid(at European standard). Swim was long too as measured between 4000 flat and 4060 meters by 3 differents guys

  • Mark White

    I raced challenge Roth hoping for a sub 9. Really struggled all day with the heat. The bike seemed really hard(carn’t put my finger on why). I was hoping for a 4:45 bike and ended up with a 4:56. Had really bad stomach cramps on the run. Lots of trips to the portaloo’s!!
    Next race is IM Florida hoping for a Kona slot.
    What do you think the 40-45 age group Allocation will be? I’m guessing 6 slots and I will have to go sub 9:10 to guarantee a place.
    What’s your thoughts.

  • Bad luck in Roth! Not a pleasant thing to happen in a race.

    Florida had 6 slots last year in the M40-44 AG, assuming overall slot numbers haven’t changes I’d expect the same again this year. I did do an analysis on the results last year here:

    Here’s a PDF with more details for you though, a 9:10 would be good enough to win the AG in all, but last year:

    Hope that helps,