Just one week after the completion of Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie the show is back on the road again, but over the otherside of the country when the town of Busselton in Western Australia hosts the Sunsmart Ironman 70.3 Busselton on saturday. As with Port Macquarie there are 25 World Championship places up for grabs, and as with Port Maquarie many of the same pro’s will be facing up to race.
The 28-strong professional field comprises five of the top 10 male place getters and three of the top 5 females from last weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie event. Included in the men’s field are: Tim Berkel, Matty White, Leon Griffin, Tim Reed and Jemani Francis.
Also backing up in the womens field is Kiwi Jo Lawn, who won her first 70.3 event in Port Macquarie last Sunday, and placegetters Madeleine Oldfield and also Belinda Granger. Western Australia’s Kate Bevilaqua, who took the Ironman Western Australia title last December, will also take to the line on Saturday, and with slightly fresher legs could be the favouite to take out the race.
Sydney’s Christie Sym will also be racing after choosing to miss last weekend’s Port Macquarie 70.3 to focus on Busselton. Christie has been with her partner Bryan Rhodes based in Lennox Head training with Grant Giles and the Aeromax crew for the 8 weeks leading into Challenge Cairns. “The weather is great (most of the time!) being much warmer than Sydney, the roads far less congested, and the crew up here are keeping me on my toes! So far so good, I’ve seen improvements in my key sessions from week to week and my fitness is at a good level.”
Whilst Christie’s focus is on Challenge Cairns in June, she will be racing Busselton 70.3 as a key race in my lead up, and is hoping to showcase a little of the hard work she has been putting in! “I’ve recently teamed up with Merida Bikes and am riding the new Black Knight Time Trial machine with Shimano Di2, it’s an absolute weapon and I can’t wait to unleash it on the fast, flat course that is Busso! (Special mention the Hugh and the boys at City Bike Depot Sydney for setting this up for me!). So big preparation under way, fitness at a good level and body holding up well, looking to get two great results under my belt before heading to the USA for another season!!”
Local Courtney Ogden will not be backing up after competing in the Ironman last weekend choosing instead to support his wife who will be racing, together with around 14 other athletes who he coaches.
In addition to the 1,400 individual competitors, Ironman 70.3 Busselton will host 246 teams, totaling 687 competitors. The teams’ component enables a group of athletes to join, each doing one or two of three legs of the event, and the inclusion of some past Olympians will add interet to the field.