Over 2,000 athletes prepare to set off on an 140.6-mile journey that will push them to their limits at the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
On October 12th, British athletes will test themselves against some of the world’s very best long-distance triathletes over a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and a 26.2-mile run.
They have travelled to Kona, Hawaii where the race has been held since 1981. Here athletes will have to combat strong winds and sweltering temperatures in order to be crowned IRONMAN World Champion 2019.
There are four men that will be representing Great Britain in Hawaii. David McNamee has been given the BIB number 3 after finishing on the podium for two consecutive years (2017, 2018). Another competing athlete with previous World Championship experience is Joe Skipper. Skipper broke an IRONMAN UK record in 2018 (07:55:43) and finished in 7th place at the World Championships last year.
Alistair Brownlee will be making his IRONMAN World Championships debut. The two-time Olympic gold medallist looks to be in good form, beating out Britain’s Gordon Benson (3rd) and Germany’s Tim Brautigam (2nd) to win Sunday’s training swim (46:07:40). Brownlee’s first IRONMAN came at a wet and windy Cork, Ireland, in which harsh weather forced the race to follow the Duathlon format. Despite this disruption, he crossed the finish line in 07:49.20 to take gold.
Also racing this year is Will Clarke, who qualified for the World Championships at IRONMAN Brazil. Clarke has beaten the likes of David Bartlett to pick up wins at both Outlaw Half Nottingham (03:51:44) and Outlaw Half Holkam (04:00:27).
Six women will be competing for the Great Britain Pros including the two-time Kona silver medallist, Lucy Charles-Barclay. In 2018, Charles-Barclay became the second fastest Female Pro to ever finish the course after crossing the line in just 08:36:34. She has recorded IRONMAN victories this year at South Africa and the 70.3 in Staffordshire and will be looking to take the title this weekend from reigning champion Daniela Ryf (CHE).
Corinne Abraham has also featured at the World Championships before, returning from Hawaii last year with a top-ten finish. She took gold at IRONMAN Tallinn, Estonia earlier on this year.
The winner of 2019 IRONMAN Lanzarote, Nikki Bartlett is also set to compete. In between securing medals as a guide with two-time ITU Paratriathlon World Champion, Alison Peasgood, Bartlett is winning IRONMAN 70.3 medals, taking the podium a total of 14 times.
Susie Cheetham claimed her World Championship qualification with a win at IRONMAN Hamburg in July (08:58:02). She wears the BIB number 17.
Also representing Great Britain is Laura Siddall. A four-time IRONMAN winner, Siddall has triumphed at IRONMAN Australia three times (2017, 2018, 2019). Throughout these wins, she has recorded the fastest bike section three-times and the fastest run twice.
Despite making her first ever appearance at Kona this weekend, a course that is notoriously unforgiving to its debutants, Kimberley Morrison will enter the race with confidence after placing 7th in Sunday’s training swim.
These athletes will begin the race on Kailua Pier, fighting the northernly currents for the first half of their swim, before returning to shore. They will then transition to the bike section where athletes will have to contest with winds that can vary from 5-35mph and even climb to an extreme 60mph. In addition to powerful winds, temperatures on average will reach 28 degrees Celsius, yet have a chance to increase to 40 degrees before athletes reach the finish line at Ali`i Drive.
Male and female Age-Group champions, as well as male and female handcycle champions will automatically qualify for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championships.
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