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Champions Descend on Ironman 70.3 Vineman – Wine Country!

This weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Vineman will be displaying a tremendously talented field of female professionals, in what is one of the most popular and competitive triathlons on the circuit. Why wouldn’t it be with a location that has it all! Vineman 70.3 is held in the Sonoma County of California, about 90 minutes north of San Fransisco. A point to point race, the course takes you through Sonoma’s gorgeous wine county, sampling the vineyards and wineries that competitors are sure to revisit post race. Perhaps this is the real reason the race needs to be capped at 2,500 competitors.

The race for the women’s title will be a tough-battle with a very talented field assembling, including last year’s defending Champion, American Meredith Kessler. Known best for her ability to back up, and win, Ironman races, Kessler is also a multiple Ironman 70.3 Champion. From San Fransisco and built tough as nails, Kessler will be hard to beat so close to home soil.

Despite her impressive resume Kessler won’t take the victory with ease. The entire 2012 podium will be returning this Sunday to

Healdsburg, California, and the list of talented athletes capable of the win goes on. Leading the race in 2012 until gastro-intestinal issues brought her to a screaming halt on the run, Australian Melissa Hauschildt will be returning with one clear goal; racing to reclaim her 2011 Vineman title that eluded her by a mere 50 seconds last year.

American Amy Marsh (well technically Texan!) finished third in 2012 and followed up later in the year to finish top ten in Kona. Amy struggled with a frustrating injury in 2011, and with this behind her now we can only expect to see her form building this season.

Fellow American Heather Jackson, who finished fourth in 2012, will be one to watch. Jackson’s resume is impressive with third place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2012 (she finished fourth in 2011), a string of Ironman 70.3 victories, and just this year wins at Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, Wildflower long course (successfully defending her 2012 title), Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, and most recently second at Ironman 70.3 Boise. Jackson has just come off a two week break that involved mountain biking in Bend, Oregon with her fiance Sean, and zero triathlon! She could be on fire, but could be forgiven is she’s a little slow off the mark!

Another American is proud Montanan Linsey Corbin, a 3 x Ironman Champion, 4 x Ironman 70.3 Champion, top ten Kona finisher (5th in 2008 and 8th in 2012), and finished third in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas in 2011. Corbin’s most recent victory was the Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant in Canada.

Let’s not forget the Brits, with six-time Ironman 70.3 Champion Emma-Kate Lidbury looking to continue her consistently improving results. Just this year Lidbury has won Ironman 70.3 Kansas and Texas, following a move to Santa Monica to live and train closer to coach Matt Dixon. Lidbury 8th at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in 2011 and 13th in 2012.

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The 2013 Ironman 70.3 Vineman is an official qualifier for the 2013 Ironman World Championship at Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada. There are 40 qualifying spots up for grabs for age groupers. For more details on World Championship qualifying please visit www.ironmanvegas.com

Pro’s will be competing for a total of $50,000 in prize money with equal money paid to both men and women, broken down as follows:

1st – $10,000
2nd – $5,500
3rd – $3,500
4th – $2,500
5th – $2,000
6th – $1,500

Pro female start list:

Race # Last name First name Age  Country
58 Calkins Kathleen 38 US
40 Carvallo Valentina 28 CL
46 Cocks Emily 36 US
57 Conley Maggie 30 US
41 Corbin Linsey 32 US
56 Erickson Erika 27 US
44 Gregory Caroline 34 US
52 Harrison Lauren 36 US
48 Hengels Adrienne 34 US
50 Hutchison Pamela 34 US
39 Jackson Heather 29 US
36 Kessler Meredith 35 US
42 Lidbury Emma-Kate 33 GB
38 Marsh Amy 36 US
51 Mensink Lisa 36 CA
45 Mighdoll Michelle 27 US
55 Noey Elizabeth 28 US
53 Plane Jenni 34 US
43 Smith Jessica 32 US
49 Tetrick Jennifer 32 US
47 Vertiz Tatiana 26 US
54 Young Erin 37 US

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