Ditlev and Haug Set Records at Challenge Roth

Magnus Ditlev and Anne Haug turned in two of the strongest full distance performances to capture titles at Challenge Roth. Both trailed after the swim but quickly worked their way to the front of the bike. Ditlev broke 4 hours for the 180 kilometer bike leg, riding 3:59:25. That’s an average of 45 kilometers per hour (28 mph). Haug was equally impressive on the bike, splitting 4:27:58 (40 kph, 25 mph avg.). Both athletes carried large leads heading into T2. Neither athlete would be meaningfully challenged on the run.

All attention quickly turned to the clock, as both athletes began to threaten the fastest long distance times in the world. Ditlev went through the halfway point of the run in 1:16:16. From there, Ditlev would give back some time but would still run a 2:34:18 marathon. He crossed the finish line in 7:23:24, taking more than a minute off of the record he set at this race last year.

On his record setting performance, Magnus Ditlev said, “I had a really good swim so that set me up for the first half of the race and then on the bike I actually pushed really good power, by far better than last year…I felt really good on the run because of all of the amazing people cheering [me] on.” Haug opened the front half of her run in 1:19:45. She would get faster in the closing miles and turned in a 2:38:52 marathon to break the tape in 8:02:38. That bettered Daniela Ryf’s record from last year, and gave us the second world best time of the day.

Men's Race Recap

Germany’s Lukasz Wojt led out the swim, with a small leading group that he was eventually able to put a gap on. He came out of the water in 45:21, followed by compatriot Jan Stratmann (46:10) and Denmark’s Daniel Baekkegard (46:14). Ditlev wasn’t far off of the pace in 46:23. Patrick Lange, one of the best runners in the sport, was an early DNF on the bike due to a rib injury. Lange was expected to chase a sub-2:30 marathon clocking on the run.

Ditlev moved to the front of the bike and began to build up his lead. The crowds willed the chasers up Solarer Berg but they could not gain any time back on Ditlev. Baekkegard crashed out of the race but seems to be okay. Ditlev reached T2 first after a sub-4 hour bike split. Rudy Von Berg led a group of three, including Tom Bishop and Stefan Zachaeus, into T2 next. Stratmann was a little further back in 5th, after getting a flat tire. Ditlev did well to maintain his lead early on the run, and let the others battle for the remaining podium places. He clocked a sub-2:35 marathon to win by almost 15 minutes. Bishop ran in 2nd for much of the run, until Von Berg caught him around the 25k mark. Bishop would respond and go on to take 2nd by 36 seconds. Stratmann moved up to take 4th. France’s Leon Chevalier finished in 5th.

Women's Race Recap

Anne Haug (52:37) and Rebecca Robisch (52:39) led out the women’s swim. Laura Philipp (55:14), Svenja Thoes (55:16), and Els Visser (55:17) made up the chase pack. Robisch took the early lead on the bike, closely followed by Haug. It did not take long after that for Haug to make her move and start putting time into the rest of the field. At last year’s race, Haug biked 4:39:17. She rode more than 10 minutes faster than that time to take a commanding lead into T2. Haug made a sub-2:40 marathon look easy off of an incredibly hard ride to go on to win in 8:02:38. Philipp was the best of the rest, clocking the 2nd fastest run of the day (2:44:34) to take 2nd. Visser held on for third to round out the podium. Anne Reischmann moved up to finish 4th, after running a 2:50:09 marathon. That was enough to hold off a fast charging Danielle Lewis in 5th.

Quick Takes

Quick Take #1: We witnessed two exemplary performances today. Both long distance records (on accurate courses) went down today in similar fashion. Ditlev took a little over a minute off of the record he set last year. He ran sub-2:35 for the first time in his career. Conditions were close to ideal today but if he can replicate that run form at future full distance races, I am not sure if there is anyone who will be able to beat him. In Haug’s decorated long course career, she has never broken 4:30 on the bike. She did that today and, similarly, looks unbeatable at the full distance. Haug's 2:38 marathon split was 2nd fastest overall out of all male and female professionals. Only Ditlev ran faster.

Quick Take #2: With all of the competing races professional athletes need to choose from this year, the Challenge Roth fields took a big step back this year. This is one of the biggest races in our sport and the atmosphere looked incredible today. Hopefully they find a way to keep this race highly competitive moving forward. It looks like more effort went into the men’s pro field so that is something that should be looked at as well.

Quick Take #3: The live stream lost power a couple of times but the coverage of today’s race should be raised up. The commentary, featuring Belinda Granger and Sebastian Kienle, was engaging from start to finish. They gave us multiple cameras on the athletes at the front of the race and did not miss any of the key moves that were made. PTO and IRONMAN should take some notes from this broadcast.

1 Ditlev, Magnus 7:23:24 0:46:23 3:59:25 2:34:18
2 Bishop, Thomas 7:37:54 0:46:17 4:05:46 2:42:42
3 Von Berg, Rudy 7:38:30 0:46:19 4:05:46 2:43:25
4 Stratmann, Jan 7:38:57 0:46:10 4:08:31 2:41:21
5 Chevalier, Leon 7:39:11 0:48:38 4:05:59 2:41:33
6 Zachäus, Stefan 7:40:28 0:46:25 4:05:44 2:44:44
7 Eggeling, Marc 7:44:14 0:48:38 4:12:04 2:40:33
8 Lewis, Joshua 7:52:32 0:46:24 4:08:07 2:54:37
9 Störzer, Christian 7:52:41 0:54:24 4:15:43 2:39:12
10 Huerzeler, Samuel 7:53:06 0:48:40 4:11:48 2:48:55

1 Haug, Anne 8:02:38 0:52:37 4:27:58 2:38:52
2 Philipp, Laura 8:14:13 0:55:14 4:30:47 2:44:34
3 Visser, Els 8:24:47 0:55:17 4:31:02 2:55:25
4 Reischmann, Anne 8:26:07 0:58:41 4:34:43 2:50:09
5 Lewis, Danielle 8:26:50 1:01:14 4:33:21 2:48:47
6 Græsbøll Christensen, Katrine 8:34:55 1:00:53 4:38:42 2:52:24
7 Robisch, Rebecca 8:36:51 0:52:39 4:37:25 3:03:03
8 Zimmermann, Laura 8:40:43 4:39:05 2:57:17
9 Skala, Julia 8:43:54 0:59:32 4:47:35 2:52:53
10 Pohjalainen, Tiina 8:45:10 0:58:46 4:41:57 3:01:27