Last year’s race was won by Michelle Wu and Ollie Whistler. Whistler finished ahead of Luke Whitemore and Rich Munroe. Without taking in to account any late withdrawals this year Whilster is up against some tough opponents like Tim Reed, Adam Holborow, Joey Lampe and Stephen Hackett (growing race by race). Also racing are strong competitors Nathan’Struggla’ Stewart who won the open division of the Forster Ultimate triathlon in September, Luke Gilmer who turned pro this year. Jason Shortis was entered to race but finishing 3rd at Ironman Western Australia would be unlikely to race this weekend. Michael Fox is also down to race. Fox raced Husky long course this year and was right up there. He can swim and run and will be strong on the bike. He should be up to speed by now after taking time of over winter.
Tim Reed is backing up after a solid 4th at the Asia Pacific champs. Reed flatted and crashed during the bike but came back with a very strong 1:13 half marathon. If Reed has recovered from Phuket he will be Ollie Whistler’s main threat although Lampe, Hacket, Whitmore and Holborow will be there at different stages. Lampe, Holborow and Reed will be the guys likely to stay in touch with Whistler on the bike. Whistler is one of the stronger cyclists over the 70.3 distance in the sport.
Michelle Wu will be under pressure this weekend from Lisa Marangon. Unlike Wu and Raynolds, Marangon did not race at Phuket last weekend and should be fresh enough to go the distance. Although one competitor that most have not raced against is New Zealand’s Hannah Lawrence. Lawrence put in a storming run at the Cairns Half in June this year to run herself in to second position. She will be a lot more advanced and should be tougher this weekend.
Nicole Ward had a great race in Shepparton will be a tough competitor and will be looking to see some improvement on the bike leg. This is the area where Ward concedes time to her competitors and means that she can’t use her solid run to get to the top of the podium. Looking forward to seeing a stronger bike split this weekend.
Ali Fitch is fresh from winning the Wagga Wagg Ultimate triathlon three weeks ago and is on the comeback trail after having four years of injury related issues.
Canberra’s Jemani Francis will be racing hard to put in a good showing in front of his home crowd.
Pro Start list from the race website below. We have taken out the known non-starters.
|Lawrence, Hannah||New Zealand|