Entire Kona Podium Commits to 2020 Challenge Roth

The 2020 Challenge Roth triathlon is gearing up for what could be the most competitive event in its history.

Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images for Ironman

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Every athlete from the Ironman World Championship podium for both the men and the women has said they will be on the start line of the iconic Challenge Roth event in Roth, Bavaria, Germany on July 5.

Germany’s Jan Frodeno (first in Kona), the United States’ Tim O’Donnell (second in Kona), and Germany’s Sebastian Kienle (third in Kona) will all be competing. Frodeno won the iconic race in 2016 in epic fashion—crossing the finish line in a new world record time of 7:35:39. That record still stands today, and will likely be the target of several men when they compete in July.

This will be O’Donnell’s first time racing in Roth. “Roth is an iconic event and has been on my bucket list for years,” O’Donnell wrote on Instagram. “The fact that it will showcase such an amazing field will make the race even more amazing. Racing in Germany is always next level, time to put on my big boy pants.”

Kienle won the race in 2018. The 2019 winner, local pro Andreas Dreitz, will also be on the start line. “Of course Frodo is the firm favorite, but there may not be many chances to challenge him in the future,” Dreitz says of the race. “I’m really excited about the race and will try to make the impossible possible in my Franconian homeland.”

Also on the start list are Australians Cameron Wurf, Josh Amberger, Luke McKenzie, and Matt Burton, as well as Canada’s Cody Beals, Joe Skipper from Great Britain and last year’s runner-up, Jesper Svensson, from Sweden.

The women will chase after Chrissie Wellington’s so-far-untouchable 8:18:13 iron-distance world record, which was set at this race in 2011. Newly-crowned Ironman world champion Anne Haug will take on the Roth race for the first time in her career.

Kona runner-up athlete Charles-Barclay won Challenge Roth in a personal best of 8:31:09 last year. “I am going back to Challenge Roth and hopefully defend my title,” she said. “I can’t wait to go back and race this stellar line up.” Kona third-place finisher Sarah Crowley of Australia will look to improve on her third-place finish from last year.

In addition to the Hawaiian podium, the event will also feature Laura Siddall (GBR), Rachel McBride (CAN), and Beth McKenzie (USA).

Jan Frodeno Reflects on His Final Ironman World Championship

Immediately after finishing 24th place at his final Ironman World Championships, the Olympic medalist (and three-time IMWC winner) explains what his race in Nice meant to him.