Challenge Roth 2020 Cancelled

Friday 27 March 2020

Dear friends of DATEV Challenge Roth, It is with a heavy heart we have made the decision to cancel DATEV Challenge Roth on 5 July 2020 due to the current global health crisis with the SARS-CoV-2-Virus. After consulting with the authorities, it is the only responsible choice to make.

We, the Walchshöfer family, together with the entire Challenge team, are deeply saddened by this cancellation. It was the most difficult decision we have had to make since Challenge was founded 19 years ago in 2002. We struggled for a long time, considered every possible alternative, but the continued spread of this terrible virus, that has reached almost every country in the world, led us to the painful realisation that there is no alternative but to cancel this year’s race.

Since Challenge was founded, it has been - and continues to be - our philosophy to put the well-being of the athletes at the heart of everything we do, regardless of the circumstances. Now we have reached a point where we can no longer guarantee the health and physical safety of the athletes, nor the high level of competition you expect.

We have been greatly concerned by the many registered athletes from so many countries whose training conditions are subject to massive restrictions, are affected by curfews, or who, in some cases, have even contracted SARS-CoV-2-Virus. We strongly believe in our responsibility for the athletes and it is important we live up to this responsibility. Therefore, we have no other choice.

Caring for our athletes, and also for all our volunteers and everyone involved in Challenge, is always the top priority at DATEV Challenge Roth, now more than ever. We are particularly thinking of our more than 7,500 volunteers who are the heart and soul of our event and who we must not and do not want to put at risk. The same applies to the emergency and rescue workers involved in the organization. In the current difficult situation, they are working almost around the clock to help people and, yes, to save lives. We cannot put any additional burden on them.

Germany and the whole world are facing a huge challenge. The ever-increasing number of cases, and unfortunately deaths, forces us to rethink and adapt our own view of many things that are dear to us as we face this cruel reality. We have to learn that sport, especially our beloved sport of triathlon, actually isn’t the most important thing in life. At the moment it's about things that are bigger and more important than triathlon. It's about curbing an aggressive and deathly virus, and all of us can only hope and believe that it will be defeated soon.

If we keep in mind the enormous consequences and implications this pandemic imposes on the global population, the cancellation of a sporting event - be it as big as DATEV Challenge Roth - is almost irrelevant, nothing but a grain of sand the desert. We should keep this in mind during this time so it is easier for all of us to gain a clear perspective. 

We don't want to complain about the economic side of this event cancellation. On the other hand, we cannot hide the fact this has significant financial consequences for us. We have already made advance payments in many areas, ordered large quantities of equipment, materials and event technology and commissioned services. We will have to carry many of these costs. This will undoubtedly have a major impact on our company, the result of which is still unknown.

But we will not desert you!

Despite this difficult situation, we are reiterating our promise to our athletes: We stand by our word and will, contrary to many other organizers, reimburse entry fees minus the administration fee!

We have also planned registration for the next DATEV Challenge Roth on 4 July 2021. One thing is certain: EVERYONE who was registered for DATEV Challenge Roth 2020 will have the right to register for DATEV Challenge Roth 2021 before anyone else.

A heartfelt request for solidarity

At the same time, we ask all our athletes solidarity in these difficult times. As you know, this is purely a family business, there is no other investor behind us who can support us or provide us with additional funds. Nevertheless, we have a deep desire and a firm intention to organize our DATEV Challenge Roth event with the help of our athletes, friends and supporters – and it will be a good one - to lead the future.

That is why we want to put something to you: for those who can, we ask you to voluntarily waive part of the refund in support of Challenge, the proceeds of which provide an emergency fund to ensure the long-term survival of our brand. In return, for donations over a certain amount, we will offer you a gift we think you’ll like!

We had promised you a historic triathlon event with the best field ever in Roth this year. We wanted to celebrate at a wonderful triathlon party with all of you and experience an unforgettable day together. Now, all of this is not possible. Instead, we have to temporarily put our dreams and hopes on hold because the world is struggling.

But we ask you from the bottom of our hearts: let's all unite and try to beat this crisis together! Let’s be there for each other and, despite everything, have hope for the future. If we all continue to believe firmly in our dreams and each of us does our part, we will do it. 

We will be back next year. And we will celebrate with you all at the largest triathlon party ever on 4 July 2021 in Roth!

Until then: take care and above all, stay healthy.

See you at the finish line in 2021 in Roth! 

Yours in friendship

Alice, Felix and Kathrin Walchshöfer with the entire Challenge team

CHALLENGE Family


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