DOWN UNDER FOR IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPS
The IM 70.3 Championships is moving to sunnier climes as it heads to the Sunshine Coast
THIS YEAR’S IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship race crosses to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time ever.
And athletes who have qualified for the iconic event at Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast have been promised a fresh, challenging course.
Organisers have guaranteed rolling surf, soft sand and a lumpy, undulating ride into the hilly hinterland and Mooloolaba hills.
The beachfront resort has hosted the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival and the ITU World Cup races for several years. However, the course for this particular world championship will provide a whole new challenge as local professional triathletes Caroline Steffen and Josh Amberger attest.
“The surf swim is a first and anything could happen with a beach swim,” says Amberger. “The race could break up with the surf conditions or the run on the soft sand. Plus, there’s a hill straight out of T1 that will soften the legs further.”
The previous multi-lap bike course has been replaced by a one-lap route that takes in the rolling hills to the west towards Palmwoods. “There’s one good climb of 18 per cent and overall it’s lumpy and technical,” says Steffen. “If it doesn’t break up completely on the bike itself, it will definitely take the sting out of the legs of the pure runners.”
The current 70.3 world champions are Jan Frodeno of Germany and Daniela Ryf of Switzerland, but after the race which takes place on 4 September, the crown could be anyone’s. We’ll bring you a full report.