A number of world class athletes will kick off their seasons at IRONMAN 70.3 Tasmania this weekend, as Hobart hosts one of the toughest middle distance races in Oceania.
With several big names such as home town hero Cameron Wurf set to start, the racing is bound to be fast and furious, especially with two slots to race the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo this December on the line.
In our preview piece below, you can find all the information you need on start times, how to follow live and a full preview of the professional men and women’s fields.
Start times and how to follow
The racing this weekend takes place on Sunday February 4. On Sunday, the elite men will get things underway, with the gun going off at 06:25 local time. This corresponds to 19:25 in the UK, 20:25 in Central Europe and 11:25 Pacific on Saturday February 3.
The elite women will start one minute after the elite men in Australia, with their race kicking off at 06:26 local time. This corresponds to 19:26 in the UK, 20:26 in Central Europe and 11:26 on the West Coast on Saturday.
Unfortunately, there will be no live stream of the action in Tasmania. However, all the action can be followed live via the IRONMAN Athlete Tracker App, which allows you to follow your favourite athletes or friends in real time.
In the men’s race, Kiwi Braden Currie is the top seeded athlete, with the 37-year-old opening up his season in Tasmania after opting not to go for a third straight win at the Tauranga Half last month.
Currie will be joined by a whole host of other athletes from Oceania, most notably Australian trio Wurf, Nick Thompson and Mitchell Kibby, who will all hope to take the tape in Hobart.
For Wurf, this race offers a unique opportunity to put on a show in front of a home crowd, with a tough bike course giving the Team Ineos Grenadier a great opportunity to get to the front of the race.
Whilst defending champion Jake Birtwhistle is fully focused on the Olympics and won’t be taking to the start line on Sunday, Wurf will hope he can keep the race win amongst the Tassie boys for the second straight season.
Finally, Spanish Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez will line-up hoping it’s third time lucky Down Under, after the triathlon legend was a DNF and a DSQ at his last two races middle distance races in Taupo and Tauranga.
In the women’s field, defending champion Ellie Salthouse is not on the start list but there will still be plenty of quality, with 2022 IRONMAN World Champion Chelsea Sodaro lining up.
Sodaro, who was second in Tauranga two weeks ago, has been training in New Zealand alongside Gomez and coach Dr Dan Plews over the past few weeks and will hope to pick up a win before heading back home.
The PTO World #11, who has been announced as one of the participants in the T100 Triathlon World Tour, will race talented Australian trio Grace Thek, Penny Slater and Sarah Crowley for the win on Sunday.
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
The prize purse on offer this weekend is $20,000 – with the winners collecting a $3,500 share of that total.
In addition to money, there will be a total of two qualifying slots for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, with one for the women and one for the men in Taupo this year.
The total funds will be paid five-deep, as follows: