The inclusion of Queenslanders Dan Wilson and Sam Betten and Kiwi (now Noosa resident) Callum Millward to the men’s pro field is guaranteed to shake up the Sunshine Coast when Ironman 70.3 comes to town on 10th September.
The local trio have been putting the finishing touches to their “A” games and are ready to put it all on the line in what they all nominate as one of their favourite races on the Australian calendar.
The Brisbane based Dan Wilson has been racing on the Sunshine Coast since he was in High School and he has a strong record on the Sunshine Coast that he is keen to defend.
“I love racing on the Sunshine Coast, there’s no better place to race as far as I’m concerned. I have done a lot of racing over a variety of distances and formats at Mooloolaba, and my last three races up here I’ve got a 1st a 2nd and a 3rd, so hopefully I can keep the podium form going. I’ve only raced the 70.3 Sunshine Coast once before in 2014, and got rolled in a sprint finish, so I’m hoping I don’t have to go through that ordeal again.”
“Sunshine Coast 70.3 is the start of the second half of the season for me. Training has been going well, I’ve strung together a really solid few months, so I’m keen to race again and test out my form up at Mooloolaba. I haven’t raced on the new course before but I’m presuming, like most races, it will suit whoever can lay a bludgeon down over all three disciplines,” he declared.
Like Wilson, Sam Betten has been a regular on the Sunshine Coast for more than a decade and he is keen to capitalise on his home ground advantage.
“I have done the Open Olympic Distance Triathlon, ITU Oceania Cup, ITU World Cup along with the IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast over this time. I have had some great results over the years racing on the Sunshine Coast and really enjoy the location and destination. It is almost like a home town race for me.”
“Originally I had qualified for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga but with IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast is just over an hour drive from where I live in Brisbane I really wanted to race this event and make it a priority for myself in 2017. It has been a very rocky year for me so far and I haven’t been able to produce the results that I would have liked. With this frustration I am really motivated to make my race at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast a good one and turn my year around.”
“The pro men’s field is looking red hot so the pressure will be on to push the pace up front. The course is quite tough however there are sections where you can get some good momentum. I watched the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships last year on this course which was very exciting to witness in person. I think it is a unique opportunity for both the pros and age groupers to see what kind of times are possible compared to those posted during the World Championships last year,” Betten said.
Coming off a sixth place at IRONMAN 70.3 Cebu, Callum Millward is looking to get some more runs on the board and thinks a podium at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast would be the perfect tune up race for his assault on IRONMAN Louisville four weeks later.
“This will be my first time racing Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast. I raced the ITU World Cup there in 2006 and 2008 so looking forward to getting back there since moving up to long course. It is one of the most stunning swim courses going around, and now being a Sunshine Coast (Noosa) resident, it is going to be nice to roll out of my own bed on race morning.”
“I can’t see it breaking up too much on the wetsuit swim or bike. I would imagine, Dan Wilson will do what he’s done in the past and sit in the group and play to his strong run leg. I personally like the course, weather and crowd support. The single transition makes logistics easy, and Alex Headland is always an ideal location to watch the race unfold,” he said.