I’m Going to Challenge Roth!

On the heels of last weekend’s Ironman Melbourne, where the 80 Filipinos competing were the largest foreign contingent, I received some wonderful news. I have been dropping hints here and there that I was heading for a big Challenge this year. I’m going to the biggest Challenge race and the largest triathlon in the world: Challenge Roth.

Yes, Challenge Philippines held its raffle for the trip and race at Challenge Roth, and no, I didn’t win it. (Congratulations to Meinardo Opiana, who did!) But I’ve supported Challenge Philippines since its inception and was even one of the local ambassadors. So when Challenge Philippines president Dave Voth extended the Roth invitation to me, I gladly accepted.

What is Challenge Roth? It is the world’s largest triathlon with 5,000 participants and 200,000 (!!!) spectators. This is its 13th year, and it is the crown jewel of Challenge Family races. Read about its history on Slowtwitch and how it’s been able to grow and stand independent of the other triathlon corporation. 🙂

Registration for the race happening on July 20 sold out in minutes last year, owing to its tremendous popularity in Europe as well as worldwide. I found this interesting blog post by Carlton Bale that talks about why Challenge Roth is the essential bucket list iron-distance triathlon.

As fate would have it, no Filipino yet has entered Challenge Roth… until now. There are about four or five Filipinos now on the start list including myself. I think I’m the only rookie among them because I haven’t done an iron distance race yet! My goal will be to finish Challenge Roth under its 15-hour cutoff.

This is going to be my first full-distance triathlon: 4-kilometer swim, 180-kilometer bike, 42-kilometer run. It’s going to be longer and harder than anything I have done. And it’s going to happen in my birth month; it’s only fitting, since I did my first marathon on my birthday four years ago.

Here’s what the Roth course will be like:

Roth swim
out-and-back wetsuit swim in a river canal (photo from runnersworld.de)

Roth bike
two-loop rolling bike route (photo from Competitor Magazine)

Roth run
flat run inside the town of Roth and along the canal (photo from SlowTwitch)

Challenge Roth is known as a fast course, not because it’s flat, but because you can really build momentum on the relatively straight routes. Champions have raced here, and world records for iron-distance triathlon have been set and broken here. Andreas Raelert set the men’s world record in 2011 with a finish time of 7 hours, 41 minutes, 33 seconds. The legendary Chrissie Wellington set the women’s record that same year with an 8-hour, 18-minute, 13-second finish.

Chrissie celebrating
and guess what? the beer is alcohol-free!

To celebrate my plans and help kick off my preparations for Roth, Mizuno is giving away a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 17 shoes to one of my readers!

Here are the mechanics:

  1. Like the Mizuno Run Club Facebook page.
  2. Share this post on Facebook by clicking the Like or Share button below.
  3. Comment below, answering the question: “How will I challenge myself this year?”
  4. The prize will go to the author of the best answer, the one that is most inspirational and moving.
  5. Contest runs from today, March 27, to next Wednesday, April 2.

I’m really excited about the whole process of preparing for and racing in Roth. It’s such a huge blessing and it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Like always, I will be taking you on the journey with me through my blog. Are you with me on the #roadtoRoth?

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About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in wellness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

19 thoughts on “I’m Going to Challenge Roth!

  1. I challenge myself this year by joining my 3rd full Milo Marathon and I promised myself that I will train harder than ever before..I will be hard,coz I’m strugling on my knee injury but I know by heart that I can do it again..

  2. This year I promised myself one thing, and that is to better each day that passes by. It does not always mean in terms of running. It can be me as a person. Everyday I will say, “I challenge myself to be better than yesterday!” This is my year! The year I become the best person I can possibly become. I will run more, I will succeed more!

  3. I’m challenging myself this year to qualify for the finals of the 42K Milo Marathon by beating the qualifying time of my age group. That’s a sub-4 marathon finish. This is my first time to run the 42K of Milo Marathon but it will be my third 42K run.

  4. Big dreams are created one baby step at a time.
    Start today and spend some time every day visualizing our dream coming true!
    Remember that anything is possible. Laban Pilipinas! Mabuhay Ms.Noelle de Guzman!
    Your courage and wisdom will continue to inspire us 🙂

    Mabebeat ko rin ang PR mo sa Running! Grrrr! >=D sana…. :p

  5. I was a smoker for 16 years, averaging 1 pack a day. When I quit, I gained weight fast and was at my heaviest last September 2013, at 170+ pounds. All my pics at the time showed a dark chubby boy, with a lot of tattooes, and no neck. I was disgusted with how I looked and how unfit I was.

    I started running September last year. My wife nagged me about not having any physical activity, two of my best buddies are triathletes, and Noelle’s been an online friend since The Man Blog days.All the influence to live healthy and be fit were there. I just needed the right push.

    My first run was on September 8, 2013, 12:39 PM. I ran 2.72KM for 23 minutes. After my run, my wife was beaming with pride. Since I started running, I hav put a total of 335 kilometers behind me. I lost more than 23 pounds, and have never felt so fit and happy with my body.

    “How will I challenge myself this year?”

    1. I wanted my first race to be a 21K race, but I signed up for the pinoyfitness 10K-Sub1 race instead. My friends were surprised when they found out that I was joining this hard and challenging race.
    2. Run 21K in the NatGeoRun finishing in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
    3. Run another two 21K races beating my personal record every time.
    4. Run my first full marathon early next year, 2015.

  6. How will i challenge myself this year?
    How will i challenge myself this year?
    I have been running for 4 years now and my first running event i joined was the Mizuno Run sponsored by my sis inlaw whose into triathlon and my mentor in running. My passion in running did not stopped yet trained pushing to the limits until i ran my half marathons☺️. Tagged as 42k @42….meaning.. I will run my first 42k on my 42nd birthday this year. With discipline and full determination, i know i can do it because there are no reason to not to. A mother of 3 without a helper and a full time employee as bank executive.

  7. With the help and support from MaccaX group. I decided to return to my 1st ever ironman race. I 1st raced Ironman Wales 2011. What a shock to my system. Now I’m getting ready to return & face those demons head on. More running and serious training. 140.6miles to glory

  8. im going to challege myself this year by doing a triathlon distance that i iv been preparing for quite sometime now,70.3. Iv been joining sprint and standard distance triathlons these past few years and with every event im doing a personal best so i think its time to test myself, and do a 70.3 this year. so il do tri united 3’s half ironman distance. Training will surely eat a lot of my time, but thats the challenge of it, balancing my day to day life and triathlon, which gives life to my day. Finishing a 70.3 this year will surely boost my morale and prepare for next year’s challenge philippines, an event that i almost registered but due to the difficulty of the race course i had coldfeet and didnt register. As for a full ironman distance…il do as what i do every race, one step at a time.

  9. How will I challenge myself this year? There’s nothing else that I can think of than having to maintain DISCIPLINE ( the “D”) on taking care of my body. It’s a big challenge for me because I need the “D” to make my body fit (I’m still working out on it, LOL!) and stay fit in order to keep up with the sport that I’ve embraced and loved, running and also looking forward to experience the fun, excitement, the thrill and the challenge of a Triathlon. I know I can do it, I got addicted to it and I’ve no plans of stopping it. ;p

  10. Every serious runner/athlete knows that we have to sacrifice things and get out of the comfort zone in order to achieve our short and long term goals and of course, to be the best that we can be every time. It may be a small sacrifice as giving up a night out to run smoothly in the morning or slowing down your pace when you’ve been wanting to just speed up (or vice versa) or it can be as big as career involvement or saying no to a platter of chocolates in front of you. Yes, that’s big. Lol!

    So how will I challenge myself this year?
    Run a full marathon for the first time?
    Yes, definitely that’s a goal.
    Run a full marathon abroad?
    Aaahh big dream!
    Beat my half marathon PR?
    Yes, always a goal.
    Win a short distance race?
    Yes, why the hell not?

    And for me to achieve those goals, I know that I still have a lot of hard trainings and lifestyle adjustments to do.

    But above everything, I think the biggest challenge I can give myself this year is to finally reach my career goal as an Occupational Therapist and at the same time balance it with my running life. And when I finally reach that goal, I will be capable to create my dream job which is to combine helping PWDs including those with psychiatric cases, and my favorite thing in the world which is running. All else will follow. 🙂

    “‘Cause it’s a dream of a lifetime.”
    Definitely. 🙂

  11. Last year, training 3 hours running for 6 months was something new, 2013 was a fresh start for me in a competitive edge as a runner, during the 37th Milo Marathon at 21k category finishing 800th among the 4,+++ participants with 2:16 clocking.

    With continuing training and exercise, from gym to road, from shoe to shoeless run, I already challenge myself early this year, as I replace my friend to run at RUPM 21k category. Coming nearly late, from wave 2, I manage to pull out from the pack. Finishing strong and having a record of 1:55:57(gun time 186th) and 1:50:09 (chip time 136th) among 4,717 participants.

    Training is training, training easy is same as training hard, it requires lot of time and dedication and lot of hard work. Challenging yourself early in training give good result in any disciple where you wanted to be. Now, I am dreaming big to conquer Aquaman and Duaman Challenge Soon!

  12. I’ve always been afraid to run. I don’t really know why, but just wearing the shoes and trying to go out there absolutely terrified me! I don’t know if it’s the fear of getting hurt, getting tired, not having time, or just plain failing at it. Every now and then though as I drive on my way home after work. I see someone running. I always wonder what makes her run, but as i get a closer look, I see how happy and confident she seems. Right then and there I feel a spark in myself.

    I challenge myself to run this year! I know for most of you it’s already easy and not as much of a challenge, but for me, my challenge is to start. To have my own starting line, and never again be afraid of having a finish line. This year I will be a runner!

  13. For the past 12 years i have been into running, and last year just started riding. I have been dreaming of becoming a triathlete but because at the age of 31 i still cant swim without sinking after only few minutes,multisports might remain only a dream for me. But upon reading this blog, i opt to challenge myself this year. This will serve as my motivation and now i set my goal that not only i will learn to swim this year, and so is my 5 year old daughter so she wont be in my situation. Challenge is relative, for many this seems to be elementary, but for me its a very very huge one. I promise this to all readers and followers of Kikayrunner and to myself and my daughter, we will achieve this and i will join my first triathlon even if its just short distance ones. Thanks for taking the time to read. God bless every one 🙂

  14. How do I challenge this year?

    Funny I’m not aiming to win a pair of shoe, and, as a runner, I wont dream of PRs. I want to challenge myself that this year I want to promote the gift of Running to the devastated communities here in Leyte. I know there’s a lot to be done after Yolanda humbled our island. But hey, life goes on, the road is still and we will keep Hoping and we will keep running.
    I’m blessed to be a part of a great running organization who not only run but also supports the community. So as one of the leaders of the TOES running club of Tacloban, we will be challenging ourselves to spread the message of Hope through our sports. And yeah, we will be hosting more free fun runs for the benefits of the Yolanda survivors! So who needs a PR?

  15. I just finished my first Marathon last February and this year I’m gonna challenge myself by doing an Ultramarathon!! (I’m gonna wear my new Wave Rider 17 from Kikay Runner 😀 ). Thanks and God bless!!

  16. How will I challenge myself this year?

    For the longest time of my life, I’m just aiming to be a good person. Not wanting to be best or better, since it will be a step-by-step process. I have so many failures in my life, mistakes that I cannot alter, but definitely I learned from it. Be a good provider to my family, be a good employee, be a good brother, and be a good son.

    I know this is not sports related, but, this is just it. That is my challenge not just for this year, but everyday of my life. just to be a good person, and how will I do it? Actually I don’t know, but I’ll start by hugging my mom..very tight. 🙂

  17. How will I challenge myself this year? By trying and doing new challenges every month without having to care of what other poeple might think. Because, let’s accept it—it’s hard to please everyone and what do we get from doing so? Their approval? Who says we need that? I remember starting running last year and all I’ve got were questions like “Why are you even running?! Look at yourself! Do you want to be really thinner than you already are?” I was so frustrated because they judged me already because of my skinny body. They didn’t even bother to research about the benefits of running whatever your body type is. I don’t run to get any skinnier; I run because I want to take care of my body especially since I’ve been getting in and out of the hospital twice or thrice a year the past few years. I realized that what matters most is how fulfilling a challenge can be especially when I do it for myself, for my health, for my growth, for my well-being. So, I vow to take new challenges every now and then to push boundaries, extend the limit of what I can do and get over with the things that hinder me from doing what I can, just so I won’t have any regrets because I didn’t not do it, just so I’ll know how flexible I can stretch myself with such challenges, how it feels like to do something I haven’t done before and probably never will until this challenge comes along.

    This month, I’m doing #30bravedays and this is the first of the 30 on my list!

    May God bless you with strength, good health and courage for the Challenge Roth!

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