The current sunny spell across south-west England is expected to continue for the ninth annual Ironman 70.3 UK, taking place this weekend in Exmoor, with the organisers reporting that the temperature of Wimbleball lake has already risen to 16.4ºC.
Among the pro athletes, the one major change has been a late withdrawal from Tim Don, which leaves defending champion and course record holder Ritchie Nicholls as firm favourite. However, his competition will include Ironman UK champ Dan Halksworth, Olympian Will Clarke, and this year’s Outlaw Half winner Paul Hawkins.
The smaller female pro field includes two-time defending champion Eimear Mullan (recently picked to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month), Team Dassi’s Vanessa Raw and Amy Forshaw, who came fourth at Wimbleball last year.
The weekend starts with the Ironkids run on Saturday 14 June for more than 200 children, followed by the start of Ironman 70.3 UK on Sunday 15 June, with a sell-out 1,900 athletes getting underway in Wimbleball Lake at 7am.
Distances involved are a 1.9km open water swim followed by a 90km bike over the challenging two-lap course which includes a whopping 52 hills and 1190m of climbing, finishing with a 21.1km run over mixed terrain.
Are you heading to Wimbleball this weekend? Are you worried by the warm weather? Let us know in the comments below!