Story Time: Challenge Roth

If you weren’t a reader of my blog back in 2014 when I did my first (and only) full distance triathlon, let me now tell you the story of my Challenge Roth experience!

It was a convergence of many good things and ultimately I think that’s why I’ve never felt the need to do another ironman. (It’s in small letters because Challenge Roth, while the same distance — 3.8-kilometer swim, 180-kilometer bike, 42-kilometer run — is not under the Ironman brand, and Ironman is a bit more forceful these days about use of their trademark.) From how I was blessed with a slot to one of the most in-demand races in the world, to the host family that took me in, to the story of that race, Challenge Roth was for the books!

But if I were actively shooting vlogs for Youtube back then, that would have been much better. This is the next best thing. Watch my story below, or scroll for links to my older blog posts where I tell that story.

My Challenge Roth Story (In Words)

I’m going to Challenge Roth!

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.

Before Flying Out

All these months of training are soon coming to a head. The question, “Was it enough?” will be asked and I will have to come up with the answer. When I did my first marathon, there was a feeling of uncertainty about whether or not I would finish it. I have that same feeling now about this first ironman; anything can happen out there on the course.

I did almost give up; a few weeks ago I actually decided not to push through with the trip and the race just because I felt so alone in my efforts. The training, the travel, the race, the expenses… But I didn’t know so many people were standing behind me and rooting for me, and all I needed to do was ask for help.

Challenge Roth: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

I remember when I did my first marathon. It was exactly on my birthday and was a great way to give myself an achievement that no one could take away. I had no doubts I wanted to finish it.

Challenge Roth was supposed to be the same thing. It would be my first foray into full distance triathlon racing, happening on my birth month, marking another milestone in my life.

But as I lay there belly up in the Main-Donau-Canal gasping for breath, barely 10 minutes into what would be almost 14 hours of racing, I was faced with the choice: do I continue, or do I quit?

A Great Story to Tell

Challenge Roth in 2014 was definitely the toughest thing I’d ever done, and I am so happy it all came together the way it did. I don’t feel the need to do another full distance triathlon, but that’s just the way my triathlon journey has come because of who I am and what I am motivated by. And in a way I’m amused by how eventful it was, because it gives me a great story to tell.

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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.

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