Double World Record Day Challenge Roth: best ever times for supreme Magnus Ditlev and Anne Haug

Magnus Ditlev wins Challenge Roth and improves his own world record (Picture Challenge Family)

In what turned out into an unforgettable triathlon showdown, Magnus Ditlev and Anne Haug won Challenge Roth today. But, that wasn’t all, as both athletes also pulverized the world best times: Ditlev improved his own world record (his 7:24:40 dated from 2023, ed.) with a time of 7:23:24 while Anne Haug raced Daniela Ryf’s 8:08 off the books, finishing in a spectacular 8:02:34.

Whereas Challenge Roth was raced by the best athletes in the world, Ditlev gave none of all those top athletes any illusion that they could have any claim to the coveted victory. After the swim, it was briefly Lukasz Wojt who had a small lead over a decent chasing group, which also included Ditlev, but that would not last long. The moment one of the other favorites, Patrick Lange, dropped out directly after the swim because he hurt his ribs, it was Ditlev who started to accelerate on the bike, overtaking Wojt and leaving all the other men behind.

As a result, Ditlev rode solo in the lead for almost the entire 180 kilometers and did so at an all-destroying pace. The crowds on Solar Hill, in Greding and at all the other iconic spots along the Challenge Roth course, sometimes only caught a glimpse of the ‘white tornado’, while Ditlev raced full throttle constantly and saw his lead increase to about six minutes. When he started the marathon to loud cheers – and knew even then that the world record was able to be broken – the battle for victory seemed completely over already.

As it turned out, Ditlev continued to run at full throttle and in perfect conditions – hardly any wind and, unlike in previous years, not hot at all – the Dane did not squeak anywhere. Seemingly effortless, Ditlev kept on pushing, no doubt supported by the crowd that cheered him on throughout and the impending world record, and delighted everyone. One thing was clear: for the umpteenth time, magic was in the air at Challenge Roth.

When Ditlev entered the finish stadium, the party was complete. Ditlev won Challenge Roth for the third time and finished in his new world record of 7:23:46. Tom Bishop finished second in 7:37:54 and Rudy von Berg third in 7:38:50. Numbers two through five (Tom Bishop, Rudy von Berg, Jan Stratmann and Leon Chevalier, ed), finished within a minute and a half of each other.

Anne Haug supreme – pushing to a stunning world record

Just last year Daniela Ryf broke the world record at Challenge Roth (8:08), leaving runner-up Anne Haug far behind. That apparently didn’t sit well with the top German athlete, because only last Monday it was announced that she would participate in this year’s edition. It was with huge success, as Haug crossed the line first in a new world record. Haug finished in 8:02:32.

After Magnus Ditlev crossed the line as the winner of the men’s race less than an hour earlier, this was simply all the spectators could hope for. For Haug, it was mainly a confirmation of a day in which she was leading solo almost constantly. After the swim she had some women around her for a while, but during the bike ride Haug took off on her own and after that she would not see anyone again either.

The suppleness, but at the same time the power with which Haug ran to victory and the new world record, can hardly be described. At paces that seem simply impossible for normal mortals, Haug seemed to fly over the course and hardly seemed to bother her at all. There was no need to look back, as her lead over Laura Philipp and Els Visser, among others, who both also experienced a great race, grew larger every kilometer. So Haug went not only convincingly, but also smoothly and totally unthreatened to victory. Not only does her world record capture the imagination, because with a finishing marathon in 2:38 she recorded the fastest time ever run in a marathon and ran just four minutes slower than Ditlev, who recorded 2:34 at the closing marathon.

Behind Haug, Laura Philipp (8:14:13) and Els Visser (8:24:47) finished second and third, respectively. Visser also broke the Dutch record in doing so.

Anne Haug is crushing the world record and taking the day at Challenge Roth (Picture: Challenge Family)