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Long course star to miss out on Challenge Roth 2:30 marathon bonus after SHOCK withdrawal

Tomas Rodriguez Hernandez, who is the reigning IRONMAN North American Champion, announced the news late last week via social media.

Staff Reporter
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Mexican hotshot Tomas Rodriguez Hernandez will be sorely missed at Challenge Roth this weekend, after the Leon based professional was forced to withdraw due to personal reasons.

The 25-year-old, who made headlines after winning the IRONMAN North American Championship in Texas earlier this season, was one of the most highly anticipated athletes set to race on Sunday.

Clocking a 2:34:14 marathon split enroute to his victory in Texas, Rodriguez had been offered a financial incentive by race organizers to try and break 2:30 for the marathon in Bavaria.

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Taking the rough with the smooth

After starting his season with a win on home turf at IRONMAN 70.3 Campeche, Rodriguez suffered in his first IRONMAN Pro Series race of 2024, finishing 45th at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside.

Tomas Rodriguez Hernandez (MEX) won at IRONMAN Texas.

Bouncing back in Texas, the PTO World #45 took the biggest win of his career in The Woodlands, but has been struggling ever since, and last month was a late withdrawal from IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder.

Expressing his disappointment to be missing out on such a big race in Roth, Rodriguez promised to be back soon in a post to his Instagram account.

“Due to personal reasons, I regret to inform you that I won’t be able to participate in Challenge Roth 2024. I’m really bummed to miss this incredible event, but I promise to come back stronger and faster. Thank you for your understanding and support.”

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Uncharted territories

One of the most mythical marks in long course triathlon, the sub-2:30 marathon has never been broken, with two-time IRONMAN World Champion Patrick Lange coming closest last year at Challenge Roth with a 2:30:27 split.

Tomas Rodriguez Hernandez wins IRONMAN Texas in The Woodlands.
[Photo Credit: Kyle Rivas/Getty Images for IRONMAN]

Lange also ran 2:30:31 at IRONMAN Israel in 2022, but it was Rodriguez who was favoured to break the mark, thanks to his stunning display off the bike in Texas.

Flying out of T2 in the Lone Star State, Rodriguez ran like a man possessed, flying through the field and splitting 1:13 for the first half of the run before coming home in a time of 2:34:14 ahead of Lange in second place.

Whilst the sum of money on offer for breaking the record was undisclosed, a Challenge source confirmed that Rodriguez had been offered the incentive, but would have been required to also secure the fastest run of the day to collect the cash.

Now, without the Mexican in the field, breaking the 2:30 barrier will likely come down to Lange once again, who will lineup in search for his first victory of the season in front of a home crowd this weekend.

Tomos Land
Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.
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