MX Endurance member Jill Chapman raced her first full distance at Challenge Roth two weeks ago – but she very nearly didn’t when her bike box didn’t arrive with her. Here’s how fellow MX member Simon Shurey and the Challenge Family triathlon community pulled together to make her race happen.
Special shout out to John Muncey and Erin Burns for also offering some help. John said, "I have a friend racing and she often takes two bikes to a race. If you let me know your size I will double check with her. If she does, then it will most likely be a road bike and not TT. Hope this is still okay. Good luck with Lufthansa and hopefully they have given you a tracking number so you can see exactly where your bike is stuck and when it should arrive. (This happened to me on the way to Hawaii)"
Erin offered, "If the above fall through… I’ve got a friend in Munich that might be able to help."
MX Endurance: Sorry about the missing bike. Can you tell me where you were flying from and where your bike eventually ended up? what made you think of asking in the MX group about your options for bike rental?
Jill Chapman: I flew from Winnipeg (Canada) through Montreal, Frankfurt and eventually to Nuremberg. Unfortunately lots of opportunity for things to go sideways on the journey. Ultimately, I don’t know where the hang up with the bike was, but I suspect Frankfurt. It eventually made its way to Nuremberg, but too late to race on it. I picked it up Tuesday morning on my way back to Canada.
I asked in MX after Danny Robdrup pointed out that we have a huge geographical distribution of members, and I was desperate. I would have ridden a citybike at that point.
Simon Shurey: I had met Felix [Walschoefer, Challenge Roth race director] at Challenge Atlantic City in America. When I saw Jill’s post I took a snap shot and sent it to Felix on his Facebook Messenger. He responded by the morning and it was his suggestion to go to the Canyon booth [at the expo].
JC: Felix recommended that I approach Canyon, as they had brought some bikes to the expo. Nothing to lose, so I went to the Canyon tent and explained the situation. He asked me what size I needed, and I told him XS. He asked the event coordinator and she said that they had only one XS, and that it was still in a box, so they’d build it up for me. I immediately burst into tears… they were so worried!
I had had a recent bike fit done on my Liv, and so I got the mechanic the fit numbers and they built it up for me and called me within a couple of hours. The mechanic watched me ride it around in a parking lot a little bit and made a couple of tweaks.
They asked what I needed in terms of bottle cages, repair kit, Garmin mount, etc. and had it all set up. I also didn’t have shoes and cleats, so they helped me find a couple of booths in the expo with both.
I had my pedals in my backpack, as they’re power pedals and I couldn’t check them. I was honestly terrified the saddle would be awful, or the fit wouldn’t work… I didn’t care though, I was going to finish this race. The bike was so comfortable and crazy fast.
The mechanic had to teach me how to use the electronic shifting because I’ve never used SRAM before, only Shimano.
The whole group tracked my race and gave me huge hugs when I came to return the bike. The guys who helped me with shoes kept track too… I’m not a crier, but I cried a whole lot that weekend. I felt like everyone was pulling for me.
MX: What did you think of the race itself?
JC: It was my first full and it was absolutely incredible. Everything about it. The organization, the volunteers. I get goosebumps every time I think of it. I signed up in 2019, and then COVID happened… so this has been a long time coming.
I actually signed up for next year already 😜
I came in under 13h, which was a goal I had for myself and never communicated. My stated goal was always just to finish. Both of my parents are ill, and it was really important to me that they see me do this… my dad is so proud. He watched me on the finish line feed, which is pretty cool.
MX: Simon, in your experience is what you did for Jill out of the ordinary for MX, or something you've seen happen on the group before?
SS: I truthfully feel that this is the triathlon way, but yes being in a group like MX I do feel we look out for each other a little more.
MX: Thank you both so much for your time 🙂