The Ironman 70.3 World Championships are to be held at Mooloolaba in Queensland, Australia this September. This is the first time the championships have been staged in the Southern Hemisphere, although the are has played host to Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival, and the ITU World Cup races for several years.
The new course incorporates a challenging ocean swim, a stunning ride through the Mooloolaba hills, and a picturesque run along its famed coastline.
Local Queensland-based professional Josh Amberger says that a key point in this race will be the swim. While it will be a deep water start, athletes from oversees especially will need to be aware of the rolling surf conditions that are common to the Sunshine Coast.
“The surf swim is a first and anything could happen with a beach swim. The race could break up with the surf conditions, or the run on the soft sand,” Amberger said. “Plus, there’s a hill straight out of T1 that will soften the legs further.”
In terms of the bike, the previous multi-lap course has been replaced by a one-lap route that takes in the rolling hills to the west towards Palmwoods.
“Credit goes to the organisers for putting together a unique bike course. It should be a fair race, and while it’s not as tough as last year, we have a real championship course,” Amberger added.
Fellow local pro Caroline Steffen believes the hilly nature of the bike will affect the outcome: “There’s one good climb of 18 percent and overall it’s lumpy and technical. If it doesn’t break up completely on the bike itself, it will definitely take the sting out of the legs of the pure runners,” she said.