Two-time Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee is set to race this coming weekend’s first-ever Welsh Ironman 70.3 in Swansea. The four-time half-Ironman champion will be hoping to finally kickstart his 2022 racing season, having had a troubled seven months to date.
Chasing the four-time world and European champion on Sunday 7 August will be the 2021 Ironman African champion, Maurice Clavel (GER), plus several fellow Brits including Tom Bishop, James Teagle and Thomas Davis.
Brownlee will be hoping for a clean bill of health after several months of injury and illness derailing his world-beating plans. In May, sickness saw him pull out the night before the postponed 2021 Ironman Worlds.
A few weeks later and it was announced that a hip injury required immediate treatment, meaning a withdrawal from the big-ticket Sub7 Project.
Then just two weeks ago, stomach issues on the run at the PTO Canadian Open saw the two-time Ironman 70.3 Worlds runner-up battle through in 24th place.
In the women’s field, it’s the 2021 Ironman UK champion and Ironman Worlds runner-up Kat Matthews who will be racing with a target on her back.
The sub-8hr athlete‘s main challengers for the inaugural Welsh crown are fellow UK pro’s Lydia Dant, who won Ironman Lanzarote in May, and 2021 Ironman African champion, Ruth Astle.
When and where will Ironman 70.3 Swansea take place?
Thirty-five pro male and female athletes from across the world are set to toe the start line at the new Ironman 70.3 Swansea event. The first middle-distance Ironman event to ever take place on Welsh soil will kick off at 7am from Prince of Wales Dock on Sunday, 7 August 2022.
What’s the prize purse at Ironman 70.3 Swansea?
Athletes will be battling it out for a share of the $30,000 professional prize purse.
How many age-groupers will be racing Ironman 70.3 Swansea?
With over 2,000 age-group athletes registered to race, including Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams, the sold-out middle-distance event should be a truly spectacular day of triathlon in South Wales.
Rebecca Sutherland, race director for Ironman 70.3 Swansea, said: “Welcoming such an impressive athlete field to a first-year event creates an added level of excitement for the region, for the sport, for the community, and for our age-group athletes – many of whom will now be racing alongside their homegrown heroes.
“We look forward to creating a memorable experience for the thousands of athletes and tens of thousands of supporters heading to Swansea and Gower for the race this weekend.”
What’s the Ironman 70.3 Swansea course?
Starting with a 1,9km sea swim at the Prince of Wales Dock, professional and age-group athletes will undertake a 90km bike along the sweeping waterfront of Swansea Bay, through the colourful Mumbles, and across the scenic hills of the Gower (AONB) before heading back into the city.
Athletes will then move onto their final leg of the race with a 21.1km run down the flat and coastal Swansea Bay course, returning to Museum Gardens for an epic festival finish down the 70.3 red carpet.
“Following the success of Ironman Wales in Pembrokeshire, it was only a matter of time before we introduced our first 70.3 distance to the region,” said Sam Brawn, regional director for UK & Ireland.
“Not only does South Wales have a flourishing triathlon community, evidenced by Ironman 70.3 Swansea selling out in a matter of days, but the support offered both by our host venues and the local communities is unparalleled. We’re excited to watch this race grow and develop over the coming years, as it will surely become a key fixture on the European calendar of events.”
Which pro women are racing Ironman 70.3 Swansea?
The women’s pro field is led by Matthews, who was runner-up, behind Ironman legend Daniela Ryf, at the Brit’s first Ironman World Championship event in St. George in May. This also followed impressive wins at Ironman 70.3 Lanzarote and the 2021 Ironman UK.
Full pro women’s start list for Ironman 70.3 Swansea
30 Matthews Kat GBR (United Kingdom)
32 Dant Lydia GBR (United Kingdom)
33 Astle Ruth GBR (United Kingdom)
35 Roberts Jade Nicole ZAF (South Africa)
36 Thomas Sarah GBR (United Kingdom)
37 Grosvenor Tara GBR (United Kingdom)
38 Baumann Melanie CHE (Switzerland)
39 Mitchell Olivia GBR (United Kingdom)
40 Brown Rachel GBR (United Kingdom)
41 Addie Laura GBR (United Kingdom)
42 Rayner Lizzie GBR (United Kingdom)
Which pro men are racing Ironman 70.3 Swansea?
In the men’s field, national sporting icon Brownlee will look to secure his first Ironman 70.3 win in the UK. The 2019 Ironman Ireland champion will be pursued by Clavel, who took home his first Ironman title at the African Championship in 2021.
Teagle, who finished fifth at Ironman 70.3 Mallorca in May and fourth at Ironman 70.3 Switzerland in June will be looking for another podium place.
Full pro men’s start list for Ironman 70.3 Swansea
1 Brownlee Alistair GBR (United Kingdom)
2 Clavel Maurice DEU (Germany)
3 Teagle James GBR (United Kingdom)
4 Royle Aaron AUS (Australia) – DNS due to illness
5 Le Berre Yohan FRA (France)
6 Davis Thomas GBR (United Kingdom)
7 Viennot Cyril FRA (France)
8 Palmer Harry GBR (United Kingdom)
11 Lloyd Liam GBR (United Kingdom)
12 Bishop Thomas GBR (United Kingdom)
13 Munday Will GBR (United Kingdom)
14 Boult Michael AUS (Australia)
15 Husband Sean IRL (Ireland)
16 Horsfall-Turner Andrew GBR (United Kingdom)
17 Scott-Farrington James GBR (United Kingdom)
18 Smales Elliot GBR (United Kingdom)
19 Pollard Luke GBR (United Kingdom)
20 Hutchens Jack GBR (United Kingdom)
21 Arentz Finn GBR (United Kingdom)
22 Halliwell Brett GBR (United Kingdom)
24 Herbst Marcus DEU (Germany)
25 Benito López Antonio ESP (Spain)
26 Mugica Corrales Daniel ESP (Spain)
27 De Bruin Gerhard ZAF (South Africa)
Top image: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ironman