The focus of the Ironman world shifts to SunSmart Ironman Western Australia on Sunday 3rd December with athletes from the four corners of the globe lured to historic Busselton, a spectacular destination race and holiday venue in the beautiful south-west region of Western Australia.
A critical race on the Ironman calendar since 2004, SunSmart Ironman Western Australia is renowned worldwide for being the place to go for a personal best time. With the swim in stunning Geographe Bay and around the iconic Busselton Jetty, and bike and run courses among the flattest on the globe, “Busso” was ranked by Ironman competitors the ‘athlete’s choice’ in 2016.
After finishing sixth at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii, defending champion, Terenzo Bozzone (NZ) is delighted to be back in Busselton, and he heads up a stacked field of the most prominent names of Ironman racing keen to close out the 2017 season on a high note.
“Ironman Western Australia in 2017 was my first full-distance win since starting my Ironman career in 2009. The race allowed me to make a big learning step over the distance and I can’t wait to see what the next step is this year.”
“This is my second time racing IRONMAN Western Australia, and I have also raced Busso 70.3. I love the vibe in Western Australia, I love the weather, and I love the support I get out there on the course. My recovery after Kona was excellent. My body and mind have bounced back very well, I have been able to keep improving my numbers since the world champs. Due to the slow start to my season my energy levels seem good, and I can’t wait to unleash my inner ninja,” he said.
Bozzone joins fellow Kiwi and legend of the sport, Cameron Brown, who is heading to Busselton to fulfil a lifelong dream.
“This is a race I’ve been aiming for since the start of the year. I was so close to going under the magical eight-hour barrier at Ironman Melbourne in 2012 (8:00:12) and those 12 seconds have haunted me ever since as I know, I could have gone under the mark but didn’t realise I was that close.”
“This will be my first race at Busselton so I’m heading into the race not knowing the course. I arrive a week before so I will be going over every inch of the race course when I arrive to familiarise myself to the conditions. It is fast and flat, so it is a super quick course, but if it’s windy and hot then it will be tough to produce a fast time. So hopefully we have great conditions, and I’m feeling good to give the time a good nudge,” he said.
Former World Ironman Champion Pete Jacobs has fond memories of racing in WA and after a tough period battling health and fitness issues he is looking to be inspired and rejuvenated.
“Ironman Western Australia will always be a race and destination that I am drawn to as I have so many great memories around Busselton. A few wins at the Busso Half, a podium in WA, and so much fun and inspiration from the lifelong friends I met at those races.”
“Ironman Western Australia is the race destination I have been to more than any other. This year the importance of IMWA to me is the tipping point of my career that I have been waiting years for – to race in good health and great fitness and earn back some confidence that I have missed for so long. Winning is Busselton is my goal, yet if it happens I’m not sure I’m ready for the feeling after such a long climb up from the bottom,” he said.
Germany’s Per Bittner is no stranger to Ironman Western Australia, and he is looking to improve on his podiums in 2014 and 2015.
“This race is very important for me. I have been training with my new coach Siri Lindley for the past two months, and I can’t wait to see the effect from my preparation in the heat of Phuket. I know Busselton can be very hot and I can already feel that my body is reacting to my new training in a positive way. My 2017 season was not as I had hoped, so I am looking forward to finishing with an absolute highlight.”
“I have raced Ironman Western twice, and both times I was delighted to finish third. My partner Yvonne (van Vlerken) and I love Western Australia and spend a lot of time here, and it always feels like we are coming home.”
The SunSmart Ironman Western Australia is offering 65 qualifying slots to the 2018 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.