This is a preview of the race – click here to read about impressive wins for Trevor Foley and Ai Ueda in what were testing conditions.
IRONMAN 70.3 Waco is the next installment in the VinFast IRONMAN US series in 2022, with athletes heading down to Texas on Sunday, October 16th to race the fan favourite event in the lone star state.
A strong contingent of domestic and international athletes are set to toe the line in the Indian Spring Park as the professional field look to take some inspiration from last week’s heroics at the IRONMAN World Championships ahead of the latter stages of the 2022 season.
Start time and how to watch live
The professional men’s field at the 2022 IRONMAN 70.3 Waco will start at 9:50am local time, with the women’s field five minutes later at 9.55am local time. For European viewers, these times correspond to 3:50/3:55pm UK time and 4:50/4:55pm CEST.
Live coverage of IRONMAN Wisconsin, part of the VinFast IRONMAN U.S. Series, will be broadcast on Outside TV.
As always, the ever reliable IRONMAN Tracker is the perfect data addition to support your viewing. If you haven’t got it on your phone already, where have you been?!
In the women’s race, it’s Canadian Melanie McQuaid who is at the forefront of the international presence in the heart of Texas this weekend, as the IRONMAN Wisconsin third place finisher looks to grab another podium to cap off an impressive season. The seasoned pro, who will turn 50 next year, was sixth at IRONMAN 70.3 Mont Tremblant earlier on in the season and will look to hold off a strong group of Americans in Texas.
Another international name to look out for is Ai Ueda of Japan, who is making her debut season in long course racing after moving up from the ITU circuit following her omission from the Tokyo Olympic team. So far this season, Ueda has finished eighth at IRONMAN Cork and seventh at IRONMAN Texas and will be looking to finish off her first year of IRONMAN racing strongly.
On the US side, Mollie Hebda and Rachel Mensch look to be the best of the bunch and the most likely to challenge for the podium for the home contingent. Hebda finished an impressive 17th at the PTO US Open in Miami last month in some stifling conditions, whilst Mensch is coming into the race of the back of a fourth place finish at IRONMAN Wisconsin, where she was just pipped for the podium by McQuaid.
The men’s race looks to be dominated by some strong North American men, as Canadian Matthew Sharpe will look to upset the likes of Justin Metzler, Trevor Foley and Andy Potts on home turf.
Sharpe, a 2021 Tokyo Olympian, has made waves in his first season as a long course athlete under Lance Watson, with a win at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder and third at IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz showing he’s one to watch on the 70.3 scene right now.
Metzler, the leading American, will be looking for his fifth IRONMAN 70.3 podium of the year this weekend, after successes in Augusta, Boulder, Oregon and the Eagleman, which sees him at number #56 on the PTO rankings for 2022. A win in Texas could see him leapfrog compatriot Trevor Foley at #51 to break into the Top 50. Foley is currently 10th American in the world rankings and the battle between the young Floridian and Metzler this weekend could be a crucial one for the end-of-season rankings.
Recent IRONMAN 70.3 Waco Winners
2019 – Sam Appleton (AUS) / Jackie Hering (USA).
2018 – Andrew Starykowicz (USA) / Haley Chura (USA).
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
The prize purse on offer this weekend is $30,000 – with each of the winners collecting a $4,000 share of that total.
In addition to money, there will be a total of four qualifying slots (two MPRO / two FPRO) for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Finland, October 26-27 2023.
The total funds will be paid eight-deep, as follows:
Of course, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not solely from on-the-day performances.
The PTO World Rankings will see a total of $2million awarded at the end of 2022, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.