WTC has made some significant changes to the qualifying process for Hy-Vee Triathlon 5150 US Championship. This is the richest triathlon in the world with a total prize pool of US$1.1m. This compares to the Ironman World Championship prize pool of US$650,000 and the US$200,000 on offer at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
The male and female winners each took home US$151,000 in 2011. In 2011 24th place took home US$4,400 (more than second place earns in most Ironman races). With money on offer like this it is no wonder that there has been a lot more chatter this year from long course pros about chasing a qualification. Just recently I have heard a few of the top long course guys mentioning Hy-Vee.
Also with these new qualifying events including some 70.3 races we could see some of the top ITU guys and girls racing this distance. Maybe that has something to do with Brad Kahlefeldt being excited about ordering his new Giant time trial bike. (Qualifying events below…)
What we are also going to see is the world champions of each distance automatically qualifying for all three finals. Does this mean we will see Greg Bennett racing in Kona over the Ironman distance and Craig Alexander racing Hy-Vee. Melissa Rollison has automatically qualifed for Hy-Vee and last time I spoke with Melissa this was definitely one of her ‘must do races’ in 2012.
One thing this new qualifying system may see is some of the leading Olympic Distance guys and girls missing out with 70.3 specialists taking some of the slots through the 70.3 qualifying races. It could also mean that some longer distance athletes who are not such good Olympic Distance athletes may also qualify for Hy-Vee. 70.3 qualifying races with bigger point earning opportunities will skew this. For instance Ironman 70.3 Latin American Pro Championship – Panama has 1500 points up for grabs whereas Galveston 5150 has 500 points up for grabs.
The other issue for pros who are Australian based is that the only qualifying race in Australia is the Busselton 70.3 and there are only 500 points up for grabs. Singapore 70.3 also has 500 points available which means at least there is one other race in our region. WTC had slated a 5150 event to run alongside the newly announced Sri Lanka 70.3 but this has been cancelled which has thrown a spanner in the works for some of the pros from this region. While this hasn’t been formally announced yet by WTC the athletes have been advised that it is not on.
WTC Press Release… (this press release can be found on Ironman.com)
WTC Announces Exciting Changes to 5150 Triathlon Series
Enhancements include expanded automatic qualifying for champions, added 5150 PR opportunities and new races
Published Tuesday, January 24, 2012
WTC Announces Exciting Changes to 5150 Triathlon SeriesWorld Triathlon Corporation (WTC) today announced changes and additions to the 5150 Triathlon Series. Professional WTC champions will have the opportunity for expanded automatic qualifying across three world-renowned championship events: the Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship, Ironman World Championship 70.3 and Ironman World Championship. Professional athletes will also have expanded opportunities for 5150 Pro Ranking (5150 PR) points with the addition of 5150 Triathlon Series races and select Ironman 70.3 races to the qualifying schedule.
This is a milestone for our sport,â€ said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of WTC. â€œAutomatic qualifying for our champions across the three championship events will add an interesting and competitive dynamic.Â With this change and the additional opportunities to earn points in the 5150 PR system, we’re giving professional athletes a chance to add variety to their season and compete across different distances without compromising their qualifying opportunities. We’re excited to see how this unites athletes within the triathlon community.â€
The 2011 Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship, Marine Corps Ironman World Championship 70.3 and Ford Ironman World Championship professional winners will each receive an automatic invitation to all three events in 2012, provided they validate their slots.Â With expanded automatic qualification, world champions like Craig Alexander and Melissa Rollison will not only be invited back to the race that they conquered the previous year, but also have the opportunity to race in the 2012 Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship.Â Likewise, Greg Bennett and Lisa Norden will now be extended an invitation to compete in Kona and Las Vegas, provided they validate their slots during the 2012 qualifying period.
â€œIt’s encouraging to see WTC introduce this initiative with the 5150, Ironman 70.3 and Ironman champions getting the chance to race each other at these championship events,â€ said Greg Bennett, 2011 Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship Men’s Elite Cup champion. â€œOver time we will see some great battles between athletes who excel in their particular arena and are getting challenged by a different distance. Bringing the best in the sport together to race each other will be brilliant for triathlon, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to race at all three championship events in 2012.â€
“I’m excited to hear of the new qualifying system,” said Mirinda Carfrae, second-place finisher at the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship and Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship.Â “It’s an opportunity and great step by WTC to encourage the best athletes to compete at the biggest races across all distances.”
The announcement of the automatic qualifying system comes at a significant point in triathlon history â€“ prize purses are at an all-time high.Â Not only is the 2012 Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship professional prize purse more than $1.1 million, but WTC has now increased the professional prize purse for the Ironman World Championship 70.3 and Ironman World Championship.Â The total 2012 Ironman World Championship 70.3 prize purse is doubling to $200,000 and the total 2012 Ironman World Championship prize purse is increasing to $650,000.
This season, the 5150 Triathlon Series will offer several new races and WTC has designated a number of Ironman 70.3 races around the world that will count toward the 5150 PR system as well.Â Professional athletes will have up to five of their highest scored races count toward their 5150 PR; at least one of those races must be a 5150 Triathlon Series event and up to two of the designated Ironman 70.3 races may count toward the total.Â A full list including the qualifying schedule and points can be found on the Ironman Pro Membership website at www.ironmanpromembership.com/hy-vee-5150-qualifying/.
For a complete list of the 2012 5150 Triathlon Series events or for additional information about the expanded automatic qualifying and 5150 PR, please visit www.5150.com.Â Professional athlete inquiries should be directed to [email protected]
2011/2012 Qualifying Events (Link to full qualifying information)
|8/13/2011||5150 Bela Bela||P-750||$25,000|
|9/04/2011||Hy-Vee 5150 US Championship â€“ Des Moines||P-3000||$1,000 000|
|1/22/2012||Ironman 70.3 South Africa||P-750||$50,000|
|2/12/2012||Ironman 70.3 Latin American Pro Championship- Panama||P-1500||$75,000|
|3/18/2012||Ironman 70.3 Singapore||P-500||$15,000|
|4/01/2012||Ironman 70.3 US Pro Championship- Texas||P-1500||$75,000|
|4/22/2012||Ironman 70.3 New Orleans||P-500||$15,000|
|4/29/2012||5150 Championship, St Anthony’s Triathlon||P-1500||$65,000|
|5/05/2012||Ironman 70.3 Busselton||P-500||$15,000|
|5/12/2012||Ironman 70.3 Mallorca||P-500||$15,000|
|5/20/2012||Ironman 70.3 Austria||P-750||$50,000|
|5/20/2012||Memphis in May Triathlon||P-500||$15,000|
|6/03/2012||Ironman 70.3 Mooseman||P-500||$15,000|
|6/09/2012||Ironman 70.3 Boise||P-750||$50,000|
|6/17/2012||Ironman 70.3 UK||P-500||$15,000|
|6/17/2012||Washington DC Triathlon||P-750||$25,000|
|6/24/2012||5150 New Orleans||P-500||$15,000|
|6/24/2012||Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant||P-500||$15,000|
|7/01/2012||5150 Championship, Liverpool||P-1500||$25,000|
|7/08/2012||Nautica NYC Triathlon||P-500||$31,000|
|7/15/2012||Ironman 70.3 Racine||P-500||$15,000|
|7/29/2012||Giant Eagle Tri||P-500||$15,000|
|8/05/2012||Ironman 70.3 Boulder||P-750||$50,000|
|8/05/2012||National Harbor 70.3||P-500||$15,000|
Noosa: Jake Montgomery Finally Makes His Debut
Celebrating its 35th birthday the Noosa Triathlon will be in party mode, but the very courageous Gold Coast based professional Jake Montgomery will be the one with the biggest smile, as he finally celebrates his long-awaited debut in Australia’s greatest triathlon.
“I planned on doing Noosa for the past four years, but unfortunately I have never made it to the start line,” Jake said with a casual comment that masks several horror years of extreme courage, immense pain, hardship and the rebuilding of both body and mind.
A handy runner and swimmer at school it was his first swim coach, Mick Maroney that convinced him to have a crack at triathlon. With year 12 behind him, young Jake headed over to Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain with Jamie Turner’s squad to learn about the draft legal world of ITU Continental Cup, before eventually finding long course racing. With the help of Aussie IRONMAN legend Craig Alexander, in 2015 Jake threw himself in the deep end and headed to Boulder to continue his triathlon education on the US circuit.
“I spent three months in the US. I did a lot of training with Crowie, and he taught me the ins and outs of 70.3. He knows every aspect of it, and I was surprised how much he taught me and all the tips and tricks he gave me.”
A fifth at IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie, second in 70.3 Mandurah and Western Sydney proved that the hard work was paying off, but it was IRONMAN 70.3 in Geelong where Jake finally got the result he was looking really.
“I was getting closer, and I was pretty determined to break through, and that is when I raced Geelong in February 2016 and had my first win at the National Championship. With the win at Geelong being at the National titles a lot of the sponsors came onboard, and it got pretty full on.”
Only Slowing Jake Down
Two weeks later Jake’s world was flipped upside down when he was hit by a garbage truck only 500m from home while riding back from the pool. His bike and right foot went underneath the rear wheels, and he ruptured two ligaments in his right ankle. With the pain, Jake thought he had broken his shin and that it was snapped in half and remembers picking up his leg to see if it was still straight.
Four weeks in a hospital, two weeks in a boot and Jake was given the okay to start back again…slowly. Following the doctor’s orders to the letter by May 2016, he was again headed Stateside and trying to make up lost ground in his quest to race the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships on the Sunshine Coast. Returning to Australia Jake was in the form of his life, but in a cruel twist of fate, only 16 hours before the event his world was again thrown into chaos.
“I was doing the final spin to see that the bike was ready to race in the morning. I remember every minute of the morning, lunch and getting the bike ready and then rolling out over Alexandra Headland and that is about it. I remember the first minutes of the ride, and then I got hit by the car and things flipped upside down. I have a month missing after that. It wasn’t until weeks later that I looked at my Garmin to see that the incident happened about 20 minutes into the ride. When I went from 40kmh to zero km/h.”
“I don’t have any recollection of hospital time, and when I got back home, I was just sitting in the lounge. It was all I was doing through the day. I had a fractured sternum and shoulder and several muscle tears through the neck and shoulders, and there was also brain bleeding and swelling in three different spots. The fractures are a six-week heal, but the Neurologist said he didn’t think I would be running again. He said we would give it four months, and you can try if you are desperate, but he wasn’t recommending that I try again. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else at that stage of my life, so I was going to try my hardest to get back to running or at least give it a go.”
“I was seeing speech therapists and occupational therapists and all the doctors. In the first session with the speech therapist, she came in, and she was quite shocked. She said, ‘Oh, you can talk.’ My speech wasn’t great, and my sentences were really jumbled and stop-start for the first couple of months. She said from what I have read happened to your brain, on paper, you shouldn’t be able to talk. So that was pretty scary to hear that I got that lucky.”
“I went through some pretty dark spots early on, where going to the kitchen was the most I could do all day. Going from 25 hours of training a week to zero was a bit of a shock and knowing that running might never happen again, I was pretty depressed at that stage and had pretty bad thoughts. I was lucky that I had my parents by my side the whole time, looking after me and helping me through it all. Without them, things would have been a lot different.”
For eight weeks Jake did nothing but then he embarked on another program to rebuild his body and confidence in the hope that he would one day get back to competing in the sport that he loved. Initially, it was the hydro pool to rebuild his strength, then a five-minute walk became a two and a half hour walk and eventually he was on a stationary trainer building up week by week. Four months after the incident his training miraculously started in earnest when he was able to run, ride and swim properly again.
Back racing in Geelong
IRONMAN 70.3 Geelong in February 2017 was his comeback race, and a fifth place in a strong field was the boost he needed. Similar results at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder and Santa Cruz have helped rebuild his confidence and reboot his career and now Jake is determined to use the Noosa Triathlon as final hit out before IRONMAN 70.3 Western Sydney Asia Pacific Championships in November.
“After Santa Cruz, I made it to Vegas for a sponsorship commitment for Cervelo then took two weeks recovery and let the body reset. As soon as I got home, I got back into training and now have my eyes set on Noosa. I am looking forward to the draft free bike. Racing for half the time as a 70.3 I will be able to push 100 percent and see how long the body can last for. It will be a bit of fun.”
“Noosa is probably the most stacked race in Australia and the organisers put up a good prizemoney, so it encourages all the professionals in Australia to toe the line and have a crack. It is only a two and half hour drive for me so that is just nice and no plane flight required which is a bonus. Noosa will be a nice hit out and the perfect opportunity to use a bit of speed and see how the body comes down from the altitude.”
“I have spoken to plenty of people who have done it before and they love the race and the whole atmosphere of the weekend. I have heard that it is crazy busy but pretty good at the same time. So, I am looking forward to getting up there and getting amongst it,” he said with anticipation.
Noosa Triathlon: The Big Guns Will Be In Town To Celebrate
The 35th Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival is shaping up to be the biggest yet, with the who’s who of Australian sport and some of the nation’s most recognisable faces heading to the Sunshine Coast to join in the birthday celebrations.
The five-day festival (1-5 November) features an ocean swim, a fun run, the Charity Golf Day and elite cycling and running events and culminates on Sunday 5 November with the Noosa Triathlon hosting more than 8,500 competitors, making it the world’s largest standard distance triathlon.
Headlining the Noosa Triathlon are key athletes from Australia’s Commonwealth Games triathlon team for 2018, Ashleigh Gentle and Jake Birtwhistle, defending champion Dan Wilson, plus Commonwealth Games hopefuls Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie, Gillian Backhouse and Luke Willian.
The long-distance world is also well represented with Sarah Crowley fresh from her podium at the IRONMAN World Championships, IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Champion Josh Amberger, Jake Montgomery making his long-awaited Noosa debut, Liz Blatchford in her first race back as a new mum and two time World Duathlon Champion Felicity Sheedy-Ryan mixing it up with a swim.
Defending champ Ashleigh Gentle is shooting for Noosa title #5, and Dan Wilson is hoping to go back to back this year, but they are fully aware of the strength of the field assembled for the 35th anniversary year.
Four-time champ, Ashleigh Gentle has developed a real affinity with the Noosa over many years, and she can’t wait to get back this year.
“I’ve raced six times, and been up a couple more on top of that to watch and be part of the festival. I love the atmosphere. I love Queensland, and it is very special to come back to the race each year after spending so much time abroad. I love seeing familiar faces and being surrounded by so many other people who love triathlon. Noosa has always been really important to me. It’s the one I look forward to the most. I obviously want to do well, but there is a lot less pressure than the intensity of World Series races.”
“I would love to defend my title. I’m sure as always it will be a competitive field, but I’m looking forward to getting out there and going hard. Noosa Triathlon has been a big part of my career, and I am thrilled I can be a part of this milestone, although it only feels like yesterday we were celebrating the 30th year of Noosa,” she recalled.
Dan Wilson is a Noosa veteran, and he is hoping he can revisit the form that saw him dominate in 2016 and go out on a high note.
“I think this is around my 10th Noosa. I first came here in 2003 as a little junior. I’ve missed a few through injuries along the way, but always come back when I’m able. It is a bastion of Australia triathlon, and it is a ripping location, it is one of the ‘funnest’ races on tour. What more could you need?”
“I would obviously love to repeat last year’s result, but it also looks like it will probably be the best field we’ve ever seen at Noosa, so it’s going to be a tough ask. Noosa is always a special race, it is usually at or near the end of the season, so everyone is looking to finish the season strong at a fun race.”
“This year, Noosa will be even more special, I’m hanging up the suit at the end of this year, so it’ll be the last chance to go round at Noosa, and one of my last races ever, so I’m looking forward to really savouring the weekend,” Wilson said.
Aussie Olympian and two time Noosa champ Aaron Royle is pumped up and glad to back in Noosa looking attempting to keep his perfect Noosa record intact.
“I’ve raced Noosa twice and had two good wins there, which has been fantastic for myself in my career. I guess because of that, and the expectation to go there and win is greater with each year. I want to win again to make it three from three races, but that is always easier said than done. I’m sure there will be a handful of others saying that they also want to win.”
“I knew of the Noosa triathlon before I knew what triathlon really was, and certainly before I followed the sport. I think it was Channel 7 showing it back in the day and I remember thinking this looks pretty cool (before I even contemplated doing one myself).”
“For me, Noosa always signifies the end of my racing season, but with a race of this significances, I’ve never struggled to find motivation for this race. It’s the biggest domestic race on the calendar with so many legendary winners that have gone before, so it is easy to see why so many top-level athletes turn up each year,” Aaron said.
IRONMAN 70.3 specialist Jake Montgomery might be a Noosa debutante this year, but he is well aware of Noosa’s legendary status.
“I’ve been meaning to race Noosa for a few year’s now but have never been able to toe the line. I went there once a few years back for surfing but have never experienced the triathlon weekend.”
“Noosa is definitely the pinnacle race in Australia and one that everyone loves to put on their calendar. Not necessarily just the race but the whole weekend of event and atmosphere make it a must for many. Having not raced anything shorter than a 70.3 for the past three years it will be interesting to see how my body handles the faster racing and pushing myself over the shorter distance. I am mostly looking forward to the swim, any race with a beach start and ocean swim is a must for me.”
“Nearing the end of a hard year it will be a good hit out to finish off. While it’s still a competitive race, it will also be a lot of fun catching up with friends, sponsors and watching the other events before the triathlon. Being one of Australia’s oldest triathlons, it is now also the biggest in the country with sold out entries and days of multisport events. It attracts some of the best athletes in the world and organisers of the event have the weekend dialled in,” Jake said.
Ironman World Championship: Europeans Dominate and Records Fall
European dominance of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona has continued but not as the pre-race script had been written.
While Switzerland’s “Angry Bird” Daniela Ryf made it three Kona victories, it was not defending champion Jan Frodeno’s day, with the men’s championship title transferring to fellow countryman Patrick Lange.
Coming from a nine-minute deficit off the bike, Lange revelled in near perfect conditions to write himself into the IRONMAN history books to destroy the course record set in 2011 by Australian Craig Alexander, with a 2:39:59 marathon that helped deliver a total race time of 8:01:40.
In a record-breaking day, Aussie Cameron Wurf won the battle of the bikers taking control of the race at the 110km mark and leading into the bike/run transition to set a new bike course record of 4:12:54, more than five minutes faster than Normann Stadler’s 2006 record.
Wurf surrendered his lead early on in the run, as Lionel Sanders (CAN and Sebastian Kienle (GER) made their presence felt, but very quickly all eyes turned to a charging Patrick Lange who had moved into third at 21km of the marathon intent on reducing the six-minute deficit to the leading Sanders.
Lange was on a mission and keen to improve on his third place last year and with 5km to go on the run he flew past Sanders, heading for town and the adoring crowd lining the run course and the finish line on Ali’i Drive.
“It’s everything I ever dreamed of. Oh, my god, I cannot believe it,” Lange said. “I always, always, always since I was a child dreamed of having this crown. From time to time you think someone is hitting with a baseball beneath your knees and you just want to drop out. I had to fight, I had to fight so hard,” Lange said at the finish line.
A fading Sanders managed to hold off the hard-charging David McNamee (GBR) for second with Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) crossing the finish to take fourth and fifth.
Swiss miss Daniela Ryf joined an exclusive club at the IRONMAN World Championships, recording her third win in Kona with a very skilful and strategic victory that while remarkably effective, lacked her usual flair and total dominance.
Ryf didn’t have it all her way, with Lucy Charles dominating the swim and majority of the bike before Ryf decided that enough was enough. Ryf wrestled the lead off the Brit and charged home with the fastest run of the day, putting a nine-minute gap to her chasers by the end of the 42.2km run.
“It was the hardest I had to ever fight for the win. I’m so happy to turn it around today,” a more emotional than usual Ryf said at the finish line.
Ironman World Championship: Patrick Lange Smashes Course Record and Daniela Ryf Earns Third Straight Win
Patrick Lange (DEU) and Daniela Ryf (CHE) earned championship titles with momentous performances today at the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai`i. Lange passed Lionel Sanders (CAN) in the final three miles, clocking in at 8:01:40 and establishing a new course record (formerly 8:03:56 by Craig Alexander, 2011). Ryf earned her third consecutive crown with a time of 8:50:47, joining an exclusive “three-peat” winners’ circle alongside the newest IRONMAN Hall of Fame inductee Chrissie Wellington and Natascha Badmann, Dave Scott, Paula Newby-Fraser and Mark Allen. Over 2,350 athletes from 66 countries, regions and territories on six continents started the IRONMAN World Championship race on the Island of Hawai`i in the toughest one-day endurance event in the world.
Lange, who raced in only his fourth IRONMAN to-date, had an incredible ascension after having been 17th out of the swim in today’s race. Shortly after the swim, a pack of strong cyclists including Sanders, Sebastian Kienle (GER) and Cameron Wurf (AUS) broke away from the group. Wurf would sail into T2, shattering the 2006 bike course record held by Normann Stadler (4:18:23) with a 4:12:54 split. Sanders and Kienle also smashed the record with 4:14:19 and 4:14:57 split times, respectively. On the run, Sanders took a quick lead as Kienle fell into second. Meanwhile, Lange moved from 11th place to a steady third-place position by the half-marathon marker. Lange then made a decisive pass at mile 23 on the run, as he moved ahead of Sanders to take a hold of the lead, finishing strong in first place. With a 2:39:59 run split, he was only 14 seconds away from breaking the run course record he set last year (2:39:45).
Sanders hung on for second place, ultimately concluding his race with a time of 8:04:07. David McNamee (GBR), Kienle and James Cunnama (ZAF) rounded out the top five.
McNamee had the second fastest run split of the race with 2:45:30, helping him clinch a third-place podium finish by more than two minutes ahead of Kienle.
Defending champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Jan Frodeno dug deep after back spasms slowed him first to a complete stop and then run/walk pace, mustering enough strength to finish the race.
Lucy Charles (GBR) led the professional women out of the water with a 48:48 split, missing the course record by only five seconds. After a speedy transition, Charles took the lead on the bike and had an approximately a five-and-a-half-minute lead over defending champ Daniela Ryf (CHE), Sarah Crowley (AUS) and Annabel Luxford (AUS). This pace remained consistent down the Queen Ka`ahumanu Highway until Ryf attacked, making up over five minutes over the final 25 miles of the bike, which positioned her at the front of the pack. Ryf then greatly extended her lead on the run, with Charles, Crowley and Heather Jackson (USA), fighting for the remaining podium positions.
Ryf took first at 8:50:47, almost exactly four minutes off of her own 2016 course record time of 8:46:46. Calling on her epic running abilities, the Swiss star claimed her third successive IRONMAN World Championship victory.
Charles, a Kona rookie, maintained her second-place position throughout most of the run and ultimately to the finish. Crowley rounded out the top three in her second-ever appearance at the IRONMAN World Championship, finishing her race exactly two minutes behind Charles. Jackson and Kaisa Sali (FIN) rounded out the top five women.
Ironman World Championship: The Best Run Images from Kona 2017
It’s never an easy day out when racing any Ironman race let alone the World Championship. Then add in some hot and humid weather and you really have a very tough set of conditions.
Here are some of the amazing images that were captured during today’s race.
Ironman World Championship: The Best Bike Images from Kona 2017
With the backdrop of the most infamous course in the world, the Ironman World Championship bike course never misses by the providing the most amazing landscapes for the bike course. This year was nothing short of spectacular.
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