A full field, and a solid professional triathlete entry are precursors to the inaugural Capricorn Resort Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon set for August 14th.
With the 2011 event a qualifying race to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Lake Las Vegas, USA; a qualifying event to the Asia Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship in Thailand and the Queensland Long Distance Championship and the prize money on offer it’s no wonder this is the best pro field ever assembled at Yeppoon.
The big question is will last weekend’s demolition of the Wallabies by the All Blacks be enough to fire the Aussies up or will it really be the $15,000 in prize money and the points towards Las Vegas that will get the pro field going?
Heading the field of competitors this year are some of Australia’s and New Zealand’s finest pro athletes, including previous winners Leon Griffin (2005), Matty White (2009) and Lisa Marangon (2009). All three have gone on to forge successful international pro careers in the sport. Griffin to win a World Championship in Duathlon, Marangon to win the prestigious OSIM Triathlon in Singapore, just last weekend!
But, all three will be hard pressed by a pro field full of fast talent.
In the men’s race look for Ollie Whistler (winner of the Canberra Half Ironman), New Zealand’s Keiren Doe, and speedy Kiwi brothers, Mark Bowstead. James returns after splitting the race wide open in 2010 when he swum and rode away from the field only to find the run harder than he wished. He’s looking to not make that mistake twice! James Bowstead is a late withdrawal after rolling his ankle and suffering tendon damage.
Other speedy Aussie pro triathletes include Luke Whitmore, Adam Holborow and Nathan Stewart with Richard Munro, Richard Thompson and new comer Matt Bailey keen to make their mark in the pro ranks too.
The women’s race is shaping as a show down between Marangon, and two times Canberra Half Ironman winner, Michelle Wu. Both are coming off the back of a solid international season and both have been trading International race wins this season. But don’t rule out Rachael Paxton and Renee Lane, with New Zealand’s Elaine Brent an unknown quantity in the female field.
Behind the pro athletes are near 700 fast age groupers; racing for a PB (personal best time) and the bragging rights of race completion over this awesome distance. Competitors are this year drawn from six countries (including all Australian states and territories).
A record number of international athletes will travel to Yeppoon, the first of what is expected to be a growing number of internationals being attracted annually to the Capricorn Coast and by qualifying spots to the Ironman World Championship 70.3, and the amazing Capricorn Resort based event and local scenery.
â€œWe expect that the second decade of this race will see it firmly established as an international race with an ever growing number of international visitors and competitors given the amazing course and area in which the event is based,â€ says Race Director, Nick Munting. â€œIn its first decade the race grew from under 100 entries to a sell out event. Now in its second decade, and now as part of the global Ironman 70.3 family, we are set to further develop the race, with an extension to the bike course, to allow more athletes to compete on the Capricorn Coast.â€
Using the long proven swim, ride and run course, based at the Capricorn Resort, competition will commence at 8:00am Sunday August 14th. A straight line down current 1.9km swim from Bangalee to the Resort will bring participants to the Resort lawns and transition to the 90km ride on Resort roads and into Yeppoon via Farnbourgh / Yeppoon Byfield Road, and return to the Resort before competitors head into the final leg, a half marathon through roads and trails within the 22,000 hectare Capricorn Resort that will ultimately bring them to the unique finish line situated between the Resort swimming pools.
The winner is expected to break four hours, back markers will have 7.5 hours in which to finish.
Local roads will remain largely unaffected with a contra-flow established on Farnborough Road and to keep traffic moving to the north of Yeppoon but residents are urged to check traffic conditions between 8:00am and 1.30pm Sunday August 14th to ensure the least community impact.
Already Yeppoon accommodation is reportedly filling fast, with the Resort also booked out for this first international race that attracts as many more supporters than it does competitors! Around 2000 visitors are expected to swell the local communities during the event weekend as family and friends escape the southern winter to spend a few days on the Capricorn Coast.
Organisers, X-Tri Australia are looking for a few good local people across the event weekend to assist as event volunteers; and you can access more information on volunteer roles and benefits through the event website.
Individual, and team entries, for the event are closing shortly, and as with all event information can be made or found within the event web address at www.ironmanyeppoon.com
There will be a gala day at the Capricorn Resort surrounding the event; but note that entry to the resort will be restricted between 8:15am and 1:30pm.
ABOUT X-TRI AUSTRALIA:
X-Tri Australia is an event organiser with three licensed Ironman 70.3 races based in Australia and Singapore. They also organise events in the national Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon program, the City Mile Dash and are also involved in various running and multisport events nationally.
Pro Field – Capricorn Resort Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon
1 Matty White SA AUS
2 Ollie Whistler NSW AUS
3 Keiren Doe NZL NZL
4 Leon Griffin VIC AUS
5 Mark Bowstead NZL NZL
6 James Bowstead NZL NZL (withdrawal due to rolled ankle and tendon damage)
7 Luke Whitmore VIC AUS
8 Adam Holborow NSW AUS
9 Nathan Stewart NSW AUS
10 Richard Munro NSW AUS
11 Richard Thompson QLD AUS
12 Matt Bailey VIC AUS
15 Lisa Marangon NSW AUS
16 Michelle Wu ACT AUS
17 Rachael Paxton QLD AUS
18 ELLY FRANKS VIC AUS
19 Renee Lane VIC AUS
20 Elaine Brent NZL NZL