The first Ironman 70.3 Staffs has drawn some top pros to Shugborough next weekend, but there will also be an army of age-groupers out on the course – we take a look at some of the contenders…
The star of the show will undoubtedly be reigning 70.3 world champ Javier Gomez (ESP), who’s also currently leading the World Triathlon Series points race.
His rivals on Sunday 14 June will include Wimbleball champ Will Clarke (GBR) and Estonion triathlete Marko Albert, a veteran of two Olympic games (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).
In the men’s 30-34 category, our 2014 Coach of the Year and two-time age-group world champion Nick Dunn will be a tough nut to crack. His rivals will include Will Usher, a former national level swimmer and runner who’s been coaching chef Gordon Ramsay (M45-49) for this same race.
The men’s 35-39 grouping includes Jason Walkley, ranked as a Gold All-World Ironman athlete and 2015 World 70.3 age-group qualifier, and Oliver Simon, who won the Ocean Lava Triathlon Wales last year and also finished 11th overall at Ironman Sweden with a time of 8:58hrs.
A number of top British women will be lining up on Sunday 14th: recent Ironman South Africa medallists Lucy Gossage and Susie Cheetham; Nikki Bartlett, who came second at Challenge Weymouth Half last year, and Eleanor Haresign, who won the full Challenge Weymouth race; Team Dassi athlete Georgie Rutherford; top Xterra racer Jacqui Slack; and last year’s Bastion winner Alice Hector.
Alice Hector wins The Bastion
Out of the age-groupers, we’re expecting a strong performance from Claire Hann (F30-34), who came second in the World Age-Group Champs in London in 2013, and won the European AG Champs in Alanya, Turkey in 2013.
Pushing hard for victory in the F35-39 category meanwhile will be Bethan Hughes, who came second in last year’s British Standard Distance Championships.
Ironman 70.3 Staffs will be taking place on Sunday 14 June through the four districts and boroughs of Cannock Chase, Lichfield, East Staffordshire and Stafford. It consists of a 1.9km swim, a 90km cycle and a 22.1km run, finishing at Shugborough country estate. For the full start lists head here.
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