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Stars revealed for IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championship in St George

Both Sam Long (USA) and Jeanni Metzler (RSA) will be back to defend their IRONMAN 70.3 North American titles in St George, Utah next weekend as the iconic venue hosts the third stop of the IRONMAN Pro Series.

Staff Reporter
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The start lists for the third round of the IRONMAN Pro Series, which takes place next weekend at IRONMAN 70.3 St George, have been released ahead of the highly anticipated race.

Led by South African Jeanni Metzler on the women’s side and American Sam Long on the men’s side, another bumper start list of over 100 athletes will lineup in Utah on May 4.

The second middle distance race of the Pro Series following IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside at the beginning of April, expect fireworks as some of the biggest names in North America go head-to-head.

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Can anyone beat Sam Long?

Long has been on fire so far this season, with a return of four podiums from four races, including two on the T100 Triathlon World Tour and one on the IRONMAN Pro Series behind Lionel Sanders in Oceanside.

Sam Long wins IRONMAN 70.3 St George 2023 [Photo credit: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

With Sanders missing from this start list, finding someone who looks capable of taking the race to Long is tough, but two members of the Real Tri Squad, Jackson Laundry and Marc Dubrick, appear to be the best bet.

Laundry finished on the podium here behind Long last year and was third in Oceanside, whilst American Dubrick was the top American at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2023 ahead of Long.

Robert Wilkioweicki and Cam Wurf are two interesting additions to the start list, considering both will be racing off the back of recent full distance exploits in South Africa and Texas, but will undoubtedly add another element on race day.

Likewise, Ben Hamilton of New Zealand had a storming race at IRONMAN New Zealand earlier this month, and along with Danish talent Miki Taagholt, could be the dark horse contenders for the podium.

With 74 men on the start list, the buzz around the IRONMAN Pro Series shows no signs of fizzing out, with St George the perfect race to track the form of some rising stars such as Scott Steenberg and Trevor Foley.

Findlay v Metzler v Moench and more

Whilst the women’s field is smaller than the men’s race, with 32 pro athletes starting, the talent in the Top 5 is undeniable, with Metzler joined by Canadian Paula Findlay, Aussie Ellie Salthouse and a whole host of strong Americans.

Paula Findlay PTO Tour US Open 2023 Milwaukee
Canadian triathlete Paula Findlay finishes third at the 2023 PTO Tour US Open in Milwaukee (Photo – PTO).

PTO World #7 Findlay has finished fourth and third so far this season, both in top level races at Miami and Oceanside respectively, and despite being the #2 seed will come into this race as the heavy favourite.

Metzler, back to defend her title from 2023, will open up her season for the second year running in St George and like Salthouse will hope to take the race to Findlay and be in with a shot for the North American title.

Other names to look out for include Skye Moench, who finished eighth in Miami, plus Kiwi Grace Thek, who finished fourth in Oceanside and has two podiums to her name already this season in Tasmania and Geelong.

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Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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