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Repost: Challenge Roth: Race or Myth?

In celebration of the 2022 Challenge Roth Triathlon (held recently), I think it fitting to resurrect this post from 2020

Challenge Roth is a popular race: a very popular race.

Registration for Challenge Roth opened today at 10:00am Europe Central Time which is the same as 4:00am Eastern Daylight Time. As I write this, I am sitting in Eastern Daylight Time at 4:14am. It has taken me about 12 minutes to realize what just happened, because it happened so fast.

Rejection from Challenge Roth

In less than 90 seconds the race sold out. 90 seconds? Come on! That’s the second time I’ve missed out on an entry to the famed Challenge Roth triathlon. I’m beginning to wonder if this race actually exists.

Or maybe it does exist and I’ve been thinking of it all wrong.

My watch below the screen... Challenge Roth sold out in less than one minute and 28 seconds!

What if Challenge Roth is not really a triathlon in Roth Germany? What if it is actually a game devised by psychologists just to see how many people will jam the internet with requests to enter a triathlon? The real challenge here is not an ultra distance triathlon. The real challenge is quickly entering your name, birthdate, email and nationality into a web form. Maybe no one gets in. Maybe the standard reply to the application is a rejection web page.

And what’s up with “nationality?” Why do we have to scroll through the list of every known country on the planet? If you’re from Afghanistan or Armenia, you don’t have to scroll very far. But what if you’re from some obscure little country that begins with a U… like United States? You get to waste precious time scrolling to the bottom of the list. And keyboard shortcuts didn’t help much, because as soon as I typed ‘U’, it scrolled to United Arab Emirates. My brain had to adjust to the cursor’s jump down the list. It warped right past United States and it took me a while to realize that the UAE is listed after the US, even though the country names were fully spelled out.

I hope my sense of humor is not offensive. I actually feel really good knowing that there are races that create this kind of demand. Although my main goal over the next several years (or decades) is to qualify for Kona, entering Challenge Roth is another goal I hope to achieve.

Good luck to everyone who successfully entered the 2021 edition of the Challenge Roth triathlon.

Until next time…

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