With the recent men’s winners not coming to Huskisson the men’s race is a little bit more open than recent years. Although in saying that we have Sam Appleton who is in red hot form as the favourite to take out the race.
Hoping to stay in touch with Appleton will be Nick Kastelein who performed remarkably at Challenge Melbourne recently. Kastelein finished 2nd overall just over a minute behind world class Leon Griffin. Kastelein’s run will has the potential to tear the field apart. Appleton will need to do some maths and work out exactly what sort of lead, if any, he will need off the bike.
We would normally be talking about David Mainwaring with these two but a couple of months off running with a fairly serious hip injury has put Mainwaring back a bit at this time of the year. He has maintained a good level of swimming but is still building on the bike and run. He jogged a 16:42 for a 5km last weekend. This is a long way off his sub 15min usual pace. Mainwaring will still throw everything at the race and will not die wondering.
It will be good to see Sam Douglas back racing and doing long course. Douglas has been living the life in New York for the last couple of years so we have missed seeing him race around the local Olympic Distance events where he and Michael Fox dueled it out on many occasions. (Michael Fox is racing Challenge Wanaka this weekend).
Someone who is on the rise is young Ryan Waddington. He can run very fast and knows the Husky course. Waddington still has some work to do on the swim and bike.
Big Adam Gordon is making his way down from Queensland to have a crack at Husky.
Canberra’s Nuru Somi is stepping up to the longer distances this year. This will be his long course. Somi has been a regular over the Olympic Distance. With plenty of experience racing Oceania Cup ITU races Nuru will be a front pack swimmer. We will then get a gauge of how the rest of his long course training has been going. We think Nuru could go well over this distance in time. He can run.
Look to see Rhett Russell lead the swim out. The age grouper from Wollongong’s Project M squad will once again step up make a name for himself before the bike course kicks in. Also racing long course for the first time is the youngster Jake Montgomery. Montgomery should be one of the swim leaders and will then be venturing in to new territory as he races 80+kms on the bike and has to back up with a 20km run.
There are a number of guys racing open who would normally race age group but love the opportunity to toe the line with the pros.
In the women’s race we wereÂ going to see a rematch from the Ironman Geelong 70.3 two weeks ago. In that race Liz Blatchford and Rebekah Keat went toe to toe for the whole race until Blatchford pulled away late on the run to finish just 29 seconds ahead of Keat.
However both Blatchford and Keat have pulled out due to illness.
This will Michelle Wu knows this course well and her run speed should see her as a podium challenger.
Lisa Marangon has won races over these distances. Marangon was 4th at Challenge Melbourne three weeks ago. Andrea Forrest is growing in the sport over the longer distances.
Wollongong’s Jessica Simpson is a quiet achiever and has made the decision to step up to the open division in 2015. Simpson has consistently posted outstanding age group results including 2nd in her age group and 22nd female overall at the Xterra World Champs in Maui last October.
Sydney’s Matilda Raynolds knows this course very well. She is back enjoying racing again and looking very fit and healthy.
|Pro list 13.2.15|