Team spirit is a contagious thing! The proof? RECARO will once again be combining its forces to compete in the world’s largest long-distance triathlon. What began as a private initiative at RECARO 14 years ago has since developed into an enormously popular annual event throughout the Group. In fact, the Challenge Roth triathlon competition is among the first dates to be entered in the corporate calendar, each year.
It all began in 2004 when 48 RECARO employees divided into 16 teams went to the start of the renowned triathlon in Roth, in Germany’s Franconia region. In that very moment, it was clear that RECARO would be a permanent part of this unforgettable and unique competition. Another striking thing about that day were the more than 300 fans, friends and colleagues who were there supporting and rooting for the RECARO teams. Also memorable to this day was the giant “wave” that greeted the athletes as they crossed the finish line – performed by the crowd with such collective gusto that it “spilled over” into 2005. That year, the Group’s delegation jumped to 28 teams and became an international effort, with employees from Poland and the United States joining in – and their colleagues back at home cheering them on.
Every year since then, the Challenge Roth triathlon has more than just created an even greater bond between long-time colleagues; it has offered newer employees a chance to get know the corporate group in a very special way and experience what “We are RECARO” really means. It’s about the apprentice and the factory manager standing shoulder to shoulder at the start, united in a cause that transcends age, position or nationality: Crossing the finish line!
The three athletic disciplines that define the triathlon perfectly reflect the cohesiveness of the RECARO Group. In fact, 12 years ago, a film true to the motto “Three Disciplines, One Goal. Three Business Units, One Brand.” was produced to document the company’s participation in the event and capture its special atmosphere.
Every RECARO employee who takes part in the Challenge Roth is presented with a small trophy in recognition of their performance. Since 2012, these awards have been produced by the apprentices of the RECARO Aircraft Seating division.
In 2012, RECARO also reached the very special milestone of entering a total of 30 three-person teams! And once again, a chartered bus ferried RECARO fans from Schwäbisch Hall to the event, so they could be close to the action. By then, experiencing Challenge Roth firsthand was already summed up with one word: Goosebumps!
It wasn’t long before the next milestone appeared. In 2013, the RECARO Group celebrated its 10th year of participating in the Roth triathlon. For some employees, it was in fact their 10th year of competition. And many family members, friends and colleagues had also been on hand offering them their loyal support, all along. At that year’s Challenge Roth – which by then had also come to be affectionately known as “Family Festival in Roth” – participants could look forward to shuttle bus service, fan paraphernalia on site, food and beverages, and reserved seating in the stands. And even some colleagues from England and South Africa were there to lend their support.
A further tradition that has developed is the tribute event held by RECARO on the following day. This occasion focuses on the theme of cohesion and celebrates how the Group’s various business areas and sites, as well as its many diverse employees, come together to pursue a common goal. An annual fundraising drive has also been established to give triathlon participants and spectators the opportunity to help a good cause.
And the Challenge Roth tradition continues! This year, on July 9th, RECARO will proudly enter 28 three-person teams and five individual competitors to complete the event’s three daunting disciplines. Among our 89 sports enthusiasts will once again be colleagues from Germany, Poland, the United States and England. The race will begin at 6:30 A.M. with a 3.8-kilometer swim in the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. The cycling specialists will then have their chance to show us what they’ve got in the subsequent 180-kilometer road race. Capping this will be the marathon-length run (42.195 kilometers) to the finish line in Triathlon-Park in Roth, where fans, friends and family will be keenly waiting. As usual, their RECARO t-shirts and caps will be easily recognizable, but their deafening cheers will make them even harder to miss!
Each year, there are three things that connect the athletes and spectators: the thrilling atmosphere, the enthusiastic celebration of the day’s performances and, above all, the team spirit that always takes hold. And, whether you’re wearing a neoprene suit, cycling shorts or a RECARO t-shirt, enjoying a cool drink in the RECARO tent, as well as the extensive supporting program of events, is the best way to recover after such a performance! The special day will come to a close with a spectacular fireworks display in Triathlon-Park for everyone to enjoy.
See you in Roth!