On Friday, some of the best middle distance athletes in the sport will head to Florida to chase those all important PTO points and a slice of the $50,000 prize purse at CLASH Endurance Miami.
The race will also contribute towards the Challenge Family World Bonus and results will count towards qualification for the Challenge Family The Championship.
Below are details on the start times of the races, information on how to watch, and a preview of the elite men and women that are looking to kick their season off in style in the Sunshine State.
We should stress though that the start lists are very much subject to change, with a number of big names – such as Vincent Luis, Joe Skipper and Jackie Hering – initially announced but now not taking part. And there looks to be bad news on the coverage front this year, with no live pictures but instead a post-race production…
Start time and how to follow
The elite race at CLASH Endurance Miami takes place on Friday March 10th, 2023.
The start times are as follows:
- Elite Women – 0830 local time / 1330 UK / 1430 CET
- Elite Men – 1200 local time / 1700 UK / 1800 CET
Past editions of the event have been streamed live – and for free – on the CLASH Endurance Facebook and YouTube channels.
But this week the following message was posted about current plans: “If you know CLASH Endurance, you know we’re always trying new things. There will be no live coverage, however a post-race show will be released after the event.”
So if you haven’t got it already, then adding the CLASH Endurance app to your phone / mobile device is recommended for racing splits and results. It’s pretty much identical to the layout and structure of the IRONMAN app – which given that has proven itself over many years, is a good thing.
Event history and course
In 2021 the event was held under the ‘Challenge Miami’ banner, prior the rebranding of the Challenge Family North American events to ‘CLASH’. In 2022, CLASH provided some of the most thrilling races on American soil, in both Miami and Daytona.
In Miami, the race venue is the Homestead Miami Speedway, a self-enclosed motor racing circuit event. As with the Daytona International Speedway, a very convenient lake sits nicely within the centre of the circuit, primed and ready for swimmers.
Unlike the racing at Daytona however, CLASH Miami utilises the roads within the racing oval, and so is far more technical than the pure straight-line speed efforts that are the focus there.
The event will be raced over the following distances:
- Swim: 1.7km / 1.05-mile (2 laps)
- Bike: 62.7km / 39-miles (17 laps of 2.2 miles + one part lap to start)
- Run: 16.9km / 10.5 miles (7 laps of 1.5 miles)
Last year, Ashleigh Gentle dominated, with the Australian winning by almost eight minutes in a performance that really set the tone for what was in store throughout the rest of the season for the PTO World #1.
This year, however, looks set to be a much more competitive race, with the absence of the defending champion from the start list really opening up the competition to a whole host of contenders.
Last season’s runner up, Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira, is an athlete who knows what it takes to get on the podium in Miami, but will face stiff competition if she has any hopes of going one better than last season.
The 35-year-old, who won IRONMAN Brasil as well as Challenge Brazil in 2022, will rely heavily on her endurance in Miami, and will have to hope her strong swim-bike combination will be enough to keep her away from some of the lightning quick runners in the field.
Sara Perez Sala (ESP) and Haley Chura (USA) are also likely to be to the fore from the outset.
Perez Sala, who won the Challenge Championship in 2022, before also finishing second at CLASH Daytona behind Angelica Olmo, will be hoping to build an insurmountable lead over the swim and the bike this Friday, with athletes such as Chura and Sif Bendix Madsen (DEN) the likely candidates to contribute to an early break.
Last year, Sala crashed out of CLASH Miami, so will be hoping that her return this time round will not be brought to such an abrupt end. If her winter training has gone well, expect to see her at the front from the gun and pushing hard for the win throughout the closing stages.
Lastly, Lucy Byram will be flying the flag for the UK, as the 23-year-old Brit looks to build on a 2022 that featured Challenge Wales and IRONMAN 70.3 Jesolo wins, plus runner up spots at IRONMAN 70.3 Vichy and Challenge Riccione, with a strong performance Stateside.
In the men’s field, defending champion Sam Long will look to take down some big names from both the ITU scene and the long course world as he races for the first time under the guidance of new coach Dr Dan Plews.
‘No Limits’ impressed pretty much everyone at the super-sprint distance of Arena Games Montreal recently, was second on his previous appearance here in 2021 behind Jan Frodeno) and will be locking horns with Long again after their epic battle at the Collins Cup last season.
Jason West (USA), runner-up here last year, will look to challenge Long as will Tom Bishop (GBR), who was an excellent fourth at CLASH Daytona late last year.
Joe Skipper had been scheduled to take part but the only British man to have outperformed him in Kona, David McNamee, will look to rediscover the form that saw him take back-to-back IMWC podiums in 2018 and 2019.
In addition to McNamee and Bishop is fellow Brit Kieran Lindars, who won the European Long Distance Championships at Challenge Almere and finished a respectable 11th at CLASH Daytona.
Finally, internationals Matthew Sharpe (CAN) and Samuel Appleton (AUS), who have both finished sixth at CLASH events in Florida in the past, could be the only athletes with the swim ability to match Luis, setting up a potential scenario where the Frenchman has some real bike power to work alongside out on the speedway.
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
Athletes will be racing for a total prize purse of $50,000, payable eight deep as follows:
- 1st – $7,500
- 2nd – $5,000
- 3rd – $3,750
- 4th – $3,000
- 5th – $2,000
- 6th – $1,500
- 7th – $1,250
- 8th – $1,000