Mercure Capricorn Resort Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon Preview

Based on the scenic Capricorn Coast, and right on the Tropic of Capricorn, Australia's long time major destination event, the Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon, set in the Mercure Capricorn Resort has sold out a month in advance of the August 19th race and right now up to 900 athletes and some 2000 support

Mercure Capricorn Resort Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon Preview
Richard Thompson, Ollie Whistler, Matty White & Mark-Bowstead recovering after last year’s race

Based on the scenic Capricorn Coast, and right on the Tropic of Capricorn, Australia’s long time major destination event, the Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon, set in the Mercure Capricorn Resort has sold out a month in advance of the August 19th race and right now up to 900 athletes and some 2000 supporters, family and friends are heading for the coast for Sunday’s event.

The course will start with an unique in-shore 1.9km open water swim in the Pacific Ocean, followed by a 90km multi-lap cycle course that takes in stunning coast lines, resort roadways under palm trees, and the roads of the host town, Yeppoon, and concludes with 21kms of running through resort grounds and golf courses, finishing at the one-of-a-kind Finish Line at the Resort pools.

The record field, including 24 top pro athletes and 48 teams registered for the 13th annual event, which takes place on August 19, set mostly in the grounds of the incredible 22,000 hectare Mercure Capricorn Resort where the field has filled all rooms once again. The town of Yeppoon and surrounding areas are near full also.

The latest news has defending champion, Ollie Whistler announcing his withdrawal. He’s currently in the USA and having qualified to race for the 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas in September has elected to remain stateside to fine tune his training in hopes of bringing the world championship back to Australia. With Ollie out, there still not lack of high speed talent in the race with other Ironman 70.3 winners in the field including Lisa Marangon, Sarah Crowley, Tim Reed, Matty White, and Mitch Anderson. Some new faces will prove worthy challengers to the known names in the pro field including Sam Betten and Joey Lampe, and returning to professional triathlon, Nicole Barry, World and Australian triathlon champion and inaugural Olympian in the sport of triathlon. As Nicole Hackett, Nic was a dominant force in world triathlon but has taken time off during which she’s married, become a Mum, and now retrained for her attack on the Ironman 70.3 distance.

Runner up last year, Matty White has had a recent trip OS which may interrupted his training and preparation for this race. That may play in to the other athletes hands.Base on this Tim Reed will be the man to beat this weekend. Sam Betten should also be in the mix along with Lindsey Wall, John Poslon and Adam Gordon. The swim is Tim Reed’s weakest link (if you can call it that) so there is a possibility that he will be chasing some of the younger ex ITU guys out of the water. Joey Lampe should also be amongst the leaders out of the water. Reed has plenty of good bike speed and should be one of the fastest runners on the day.

Betten could be one of the guys that surprises. He is a fast swimmer and a fast runner. The unknown will be the ride and whether he can run fast off the bike for 21.1kms. We saw earlier this year at Huskisson long course what some of the ex ITU young guns could do with Sam Appleton and Ben Allen pushing the likes of Pete Jacobs and Mitch Robins all day.

Along with Betten it will be interesting to see what Matt Bailey has in store. Bailey was 2nd at the Canberra 70.3 in 2011 and was 2nd in the Under 23 World Long Course champs in 2009. Bailey trains under Brett Sutton and based on the form that his stable mates are producing all over the world the field will be wanting to keep a very close eye on him.

This season in the USA Tim Reed was racing a 70.3 in July in the US when he punctured and lost a bit of time. He decided that his race was over and to treat the ride back and run home like a training day. The run home was along the race course and before he knew it he was back in the race and ran in for a 3rd overall. Although Joey Lampe would have been more happy with him running home.

Last year in Yeppoon Matty White was the Greyhound chasing the rabbit with Ollie Whistler being said Rabbit. Whistler just managed to hold on for the win with White taking 2nd overall.

John Polson won the Noumea triathlon this year and has become significantly more competitive over the last year.

The women’s race is hard to pick. We haven’t seen Lisa Marangon race for a while although by all reports she has been training very strongly. Marangon is one of the faster swimmers (if she is swimming straight) but ex ITU and Ironman 70.3 Cairns winner Sarah Crowley is also a very good swimmer although she was a minute down on Wu and Lawn in Cairns. This was early days for Crowley and things could be very different this weekend. Along with Nicole Barry (nee Hacket) and Kiwi Naomi Fergusson the early stages of this race will be interesting. Look for Marangon to try to put the pressure on in the ride and back herself to get a gap on the field. The run will be where the race is won. Crowley out ran and rode Michele Wu and Joanna Lawn in Cairns. Wu and Lawn can run.

One face in the crowd of the age group athletes, who may draw more attention than many of the pro races is Lisa Gormley, lead actress in the long running Australian TV ‘soap’, Home and Away. Lisa, and together with her boyfriend, Lachlan Wortman will begin a documented Journey towards the awesome Ironman distance, with her goal to compete and complete the Mercure Capricorn Resort Ironman 70.3 Yeppoon. Her purpose is to raise funds for The Milsy Foundation, a fund established to aid the recovery of Edward Milner, a friend and former sportsperson facing the difficulties of trying to finance an operation to return his ability to walk, without the use of a leg brace.

Along with Lisa former Wallaby and Kangaroo great Mat Rogers is continuing his new found love of triathlon. Rogers does not take things lightly and since being talked in to doing his first triathlon this year has since completed the Cairns 70.3, Gold Coast half marathon and his on his way to Ironman Melbourne. Trizone spoke with Mat on the Monday after he had completed the Cairns 70.3.

Bib Gen Athlete City State Country
2 M Matty White Magill SA AUS
3 M Tim Reed Lord Howe Island NSW AUS
4 M Mitchell Anderson West Melbourne VIC AUS
6 M Joseph Lampe Lennox Head NSW AUS
7 M Samuel Betten Alderley QLD AUS
8 M Johan Borg South Fremantle WA AUS
9 M Ben Hammond Manly NSW AUS
10 M Adam Gordon Southport QLD NZL
11 M Luke Gillmer Elwood VIC AUS
12 M Matt Bailey Melbourne VIC AUS
13 M Nicholas Hull Brisbane QLD AUS
14 M John Polson Southport QLD AUS
15 M Will O’Connor Bigger Waters QLD AUS
16 M Lindsey Wall Berridale NSW AUS
17 F Lisa Marangon Vaucluse NSW AUS
18 F Sarah Crowley Auchenflower QLD AUS
19 F Nicole Barry Long Jetty NSW AUS
20 F Naomi Fergusson Havelock North Hawks Bay NZL
21 F Kristy Hallett Bon Beach VIC AUS