Challenge Roth 2014: Past Performances

Most of my focus is on Ironman UK this weekend, but I’ll also be keeping an eye on the results from Challenge Roth. I don’t often analyse results from races outside of the Ironman brand – mostly it’s a matter of accessibility and time (and demand too). I’ll make an exception for Roth – it’s an incredible race and one of the fastest Iron distance courses. Although it has a long history, I’m only examine results from the last 4 years, basically those that are readily available and easy to use, but that should be enough.

Median Splits by Age Group at Challenge Roth 2010-2013
Median Splits by Category at 2013 European Ironman Races
Median Splits by Age Group at Ironman Frankfurt 2003-2013

As expected the age group median splits for Roth results are faster than the European averages from the last year; no real surprise there. A more interesting comparison can be made with the faster European Ironman races so I’ve also included the aggregated medians from Frankfurt. Results from these two German races are very similar with little to separate median splits.

A small note on the results – Roth doesn’t have separate professional categories in its results. The impact of this is pretty small on these medians, but there are pro results within age categories. It’ll be much clearer in the top twenty charts later.

Distribution of Finisher Splits at Challenge Roth
Distribution of Finishers' Splits at 2013 European Ironman Races
Distribution of Finisher Splits at Ironman Frankfurt 2003-2013

Again, no surprises comparing Roth’s distributions against those across Europe – slightly faster swim and run, much faster bike and the net result is faster finish times. So I’ve also included Frankfurt, not that we see much variation from the pattern shown in the medians: swim times are close with Frankfurt having the edge, bike distributions are remarkably similar and the run just goes to Frankfurt for the top 10% of the field. It’s small, but I’d say Frankfurt’s results have the edge at the front of the pack.

Top 20 Male Performances by Age Group at Challenge Roth
Top 20 Female Performances by Age Group at Challenge Roth

Fast times in the top twenties helped by the fact that record breaking results from the like of Chrissie Wellington and Andreas Raelert are included. Most, but not all of the very fastest results in the under 40 age groups will be pro times. Even so there is a good share of age group sub-9 athletes and plenty more going under 10 hours at the race. It’s a fast course and it attracts fast athletes. If you’re not chasing Kona qualification and you want a fast course with atmosphere Roth is an excellent choice.

I’ll take a look at this year’s results at the stat of next week – I’m expecting another fast year.

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