Race Preview – IRONMAN 70.3 TEXAS

Ironman 70.3 Texas is known as a fairly straight-forward race with few surprises. With the full distance Ironman Texas on April 22, this 70.3 event is the perfect way to get ready for the main event. Trizone looks at the course to investigate what you can expect on April 2nd.

Ironman 70.3 Texas Swim

Athletes begin their day with a 1.2-mile, one-loop saltwater swim in Offats Bayou, staged at Moody Gardens’ Palm Beach Hotel.

Ironman 70.3 Texas Bike

This 90km course is a simple out and back course, but before you think it’ll be easy as pie; consider the famous Texan wind. You’ll have a tailwind on the way out, but struggle with a hefty headwind on the way home. Callum Millward, who placed 7th in 2014 said “on the way back I got ejected from the group as we struggled into the wind. I felt like I was towing the grand piano, sink and refrigerator.”

Millward also added the course’s simplicity makes battling the wind manageable: “The simple ‘one lap’ style course makes for a non-technical course, and: “The course is a straight out and back, perfect if you struggle with cornering on a bike.”

Ironman 70.3 Texas Run

The 13.1-mile (21.2km) three-loop run is fast and flat, taking athletes through Moody Gardens and along Offats Bayou. The finish is next to the stunning Colonel Paddlewheel Boat. “The course is pretty forgiving and makes the perfect early season race,” says race director Scott Langen. “Many use it as a barometer to gauge their fitness leading into IRONMAN Texas.”

IRONMAN NZ Course Rating: 25:15
Race Adjustments:
2016 Overall: 11:33
Swim: 00:28
Bike 09:56
Run 01:58
Number of Finishers: 66 of 79
Rating: 11:55
Swim rating: 00:02
Bike rating: 10:16
Run rating: 02:05
Important Info P-1500
70.3 Texas is a P-500 race. It has a total prize purse of $30,000 USD.

Who’s tipped to win

Ironman Texas 70.3 draws a local crowd from the Americas rather than international pros, and Mauricio Mendez Crus of Mexico is the favourite for 2017. Known for his Xterra prowess, Mendez Cruz will show off his varied multi sport experience on the weekend. Canadian Cody Beals is also tipped to take out one of the top spots, while Rodolphe Von Berg is also in with a good chance. With an obviously heavy American field, some other US pros like Tim O’Donnell and Matthew Russell could surprise on the day.

  • Mauricio Mendez Cruz: 30% (2-1) – MEX
  • Cody Beals: 26% (3-1) – CAN
  • Rodolphe Von Berg: 21% (4-1) – USA
  • Timothy O’Donnell: 13% (7-1) – USA
  • Matthew Russell: 5% (20-1) – USA
  • Raul Tejada: 2% (46-1) – GTM
  • Ivan Tutukin: 2% (55-1) – RUS

The women’s race is set to have less contention, with Helle Frederiksen of Denmark tipped to take out the top spot as a clear favourite thanks to her great form and history of winning the event in 2015. Similar to the men’s race, the event will be saturated with American locals, with Lauren Brandon and Kelly Williamson looking set to finish in the top five. Canada’s Stephanie Roy is in the running for a podium spot, although Great Britain’s Kimberley Morrison can’t be ruled out from taking out a top spot.

  • Helle Frederiksen: 83% (1-1)
  • Stephanie Roy: 4% (23-1) – CAN
  • Lauren Brandon: 3% (30-1) – USA
  • Kelly Williamson: 3% (35-1) – USA
  • Kimberley Morrison: 3% (37-1) – GBR

Who won last year?

Canada’s Lionel Sanders is the reigning champion in the men’s race, winning in 2015 and 2016. Last year he finished in just 3:40:30, setting the newest course record. Up-and comer Andreas Dreitz came in second last year, with Austrian Michael Weiss placing third. Sarah Haskins won last year in 2016, although her time was slower than the previous winners in 2014 and 2015. Haskins finished in 04:12:46, while Denmark’s Helle Frederiksen won in 2015 with 04:07:52, and Sofie Goos of Belgium won in 2014 in a lightning fast time of 04:06:23.


Who holds the records?

Last year’s winner Lionel Sanders holds the current course record, plus the fastest bike and run splits for the event. The swim record in the men’s race was also set last year by Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches, who finished the swim in just 23:28.
Last year wasn’t a fast year for the women, although Sarah Haskins did set the fastest women’s swim time, finishing in just 24:32. The standing course record was set in 2014 though, by Sofie Goos who finished in 04:06:23. The fastest bike split was set in 2014 by infamous Sarah Piampiano, while the fastest run was in 2015 by Kelly Williamson who is racing again this year.

Event Info

Galveston, Texas Weather

It’s unlikely to be scorching during the event, but Ironman urges you to check the weather report before the race to help you prepare for the day. Use the Weatherbug link here.

70.3 World Championship Qualification

The 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Texas will offer 50 qualifying slots to the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Shawn Smith

A cyclist and tech geek at heart with a passion for new shiny things and a huge appetite for triathlon. I spend most of my time between managing two of Australia's best triathletes and a traditional corporate life.