Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES -

OVER A QUAR­TER of a mil­lion spec­ta­tors. World record per­for­mances. It’s easy to think that Chal­lenge Roth is all about the pros and a big show­case. That’s just part of the magic of the event. Here’s an ex­am­ple: The race or­ga­niz­ers had set my wife and I up with a “home­s­tay” – the town has a grand to­tal of 24 ho­tel rooms, so the com­mu­nity steps up ev­ery year to ac­com­mo­date ath­letes. Be­tween race or­ga­niz­ers and the tourism bureau 1,000 ath­letes stay in homes in the com­mu­nity ev­ery year. A few months out from the race my daugh­ter de­cided she wanted to come and watch her mom race. I reached out to our home­s­tay and asked if they could ac­com­mo­date my daugh­ter and her friend. Even though Iona was so keen to be in­volved with the race that she jumped at the chance to host a cou­ple of Cana­dian girls. It would give her son a chance to work on his English. But mostly it would be her way to help the com­mu­nity, which loves their Chal­lenge Roth like no other com­mu­nity loves an event. Iona and her son slept on the couch, the girls slept in his room. As we dropped the girls off for their first night in Roth, my wife left the apart­ment with tears in her eyes. She couldn’t be­lieve the gen­eros­ity and warmth of the com­mu­nity that had em­braced us so much. Even be­fore the race started she had had one of the most re­mark­able race ex­pe­ri­ences of her life.

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