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Fred Funk thinks 2:30 marathon mark WILL BE BROKEN at Challenge Roth – but says triathlon record should have an asterisk

Should the rules regarding super shoes be uniform across all pro races? Fred Funk joins TRI247 to have his say.

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Fred Funk expects the two hours and 30 minutes barrier for the men’s marathon to be broken at Challenge Roth 2024 on Sunday – but he isn’t so sure whether that would be a good thing.

Much has been written in the build-up about the chances of someone going under the mythical mark at the end of a full-distance race, with Roth seemingly the perfect platform.

For not only is it a fast course, the restrictions on shoes – such as the maximum 40mm stack – don’t apply at Roth as they do in most other races.

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Is it all about the shoes?

No one has gone closer than Germany’s Patrick Lange – he clocked 2:30:27 en route to second place in Bavaria 12 months ago.

And speaking in the press conference, he said he’ll be doing everything to go one better on Sunday – firstly in terms of winning the race and secondly trying to dip under 2:30.

And Lange made reference to the shoes he’ll be wearing, saying: “The fact that adidas has created a specific shoe… is unreal.”

Lange wore a prototype last year – as did others – but when Funk joined TRI247 to preview the race, he said: “I think every race should have the same rules and if records are broken in Roth it always has this bitter taste of “it was only possible because of the shoes”.

“Also not every athlete has the opportunity to get this kind of super shoes.

“But, I think Patrick can go sub 2:30.”

DATEV Challenge Roth 2022 - Patrick Lange finish line
Patrick Lange [Photo Credit: Lars Pamler / Challenge Roth]
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The bigger picture

Talking of times, does Funk think there will be a repeat of the incredible times of Magnus Ditlev and Daniela Ryf?

He told us: “The weather forecast looks very promising in that it doesn’t look too hot, but Magnus and Daniela set some insane times last year and I don’t expect them to be broken anytime soon.

Whatever the clock says, Fred does think last year’s form will stand up in terms of who will be on the podium.

He’s going for another Ditlev win in the men’s race, with Rudy von Berg in second and Daniel Bækkegård third.

For the women, he’s predicting a German one-two for his compatriots Anne Haug and Laura Philipp, with Els Visser chasing them home in third.

Funk, the runner up in last year’s IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship and #10 in the rankings, is in Roth this week but gearing up for his next T100 race in London later this month.

Frederic Funk finish line Challenge Samarkand 2023 photo credit Challenge Family
London calling for Fred Funk [Photo credit: Challenge Family]
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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