Ironman 70.3 Geelong Attracts Elite Field for 2024 Showdown

Top professional triathletes from Australia and abroad will battle for the men's and women's titles at the 2024 Ironman 70.3 Geelong this Sunday.

Ironman 70.3 Geelong Attracts Elite Field for 2024 Showdown
Ellie Salthouse winning 2021 Ironman 70.3 Geelong. Photo: Korupt Vision

The 2024 70.3 Geelong is set to be a thrilling race with strong fields in both the men's and women's pro field. The event, which takes place this Sunday, will feature 25 male and 18 female professionals competing alongside over 1,600 age group athletes.

The men's race includes the top four finishers from last year: defending champion Mike Phillips, Steve McKenna, Nicholas Free, and Caleb Noble. Phillips, who won in 2023 with a time of 3:40:00, is confident heading into the race after recovering from illness at Ironman New Zealand earlier this month. McKenna, the winner of this year's Ironman New Zealand, has a strong track record in Geelong with a victory in 2021 and second-place finishes in the last two editions. He expects the race to favor a well-rounded athlete and believes he can deliver his best performance.

Steven McKenna winning Ironman 70.3 Geelong. Photo: Korupt Vision

Other notable contenders in the men's field include Brisbane's Nicholas Free, who is returning from a calf injury and recent Mooloolaba winner Caleb Noble. The international field features Finland's Henrik Goesch, Great Britain's Thomas Bishop, and Chile's Martin Ulloa, all of who have impressive records in Ironman and 70.3 races.

The women's race boasts a field that includes the last five Ironman 70.3 Geelong champions: Grace Thek, Lotte Wilms, Ellie Salthouse, Hannah Berry, and Radka Kahlefeldt. Thek, who claimed her first victory in Geelong last year after five consecutive podium finishes, considers the race a hometown event and is determined to defend her title despite recent injury setbacks. She anticipates fast and fierce racing with the Australian Long Course Championship title also on the line.

Grace Thek winning the 2023 Ironman 70.3 Geelong. Photo: Korupt Vision

Ellie Salthouse, the 2021 70.3 Geelong winner, is eager to kick off her 2024 season and test her fitness against the strong field. She expects the undulating course and potential for strong crosswinds to break up the race on the bike, with a quick pace on the run. New Zealand's Hannah Berry, the 2020 champion, returns to Geelong after focusing on training and racing at home last summer. She predicts close racing throughout the day, with the potential for a run battle to decide the winner.

The women's field also includes several other athletes with the potential to challenge for the podium, such as Radka Kahlefeldt, Lotte Wilms, Penny Slater, and Sophie Perry.