In 2018, Ironman and Facebook paired up to give fans around the world unprecedented access to Ironman race coverage. In 2019, the two have done the same thing. The first event to air on Facebook this season was Ironman South Africa – the African Championship. Lucy Charles-Barclay defended her 2018 title and won for the second time in a row. On the men’s side, Ben Hoffman returned to racing after a disappointing 2018 with a win.
Like in South Africa, Ironman Texas will be livestreamed on the Ironman Now Facebook page. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 7:10 AM EST.
The full-distance event is expected to produce some exciting race dynamics. Daniela Ryf will be making her Ironman debut for 2019. She got her race season underway with a win in Oceanside, California on April 7th. Ironman Texas is a historically fast course, last year, Canadian Jen Annett set the fastest Ironman bike split ever done by a woman (4:25:11). That record may be in jeopardy this weekend with Ryf toeing the line.
On the men’s side, Matt Hanson, a three-time Ironman Texas champion, will try to defend his title against a field of 40 athletes all looking to earn a spot for the 2019 Ironman World Championship. Matt Russell, Will Clarke, Andrew Straykowicz and Michael Weiss are all expected to be in the hunt for the win.
At Ironman Texas 2018, there was lots of controversy surrounding the bike course and age group drafting. After the controversy over a shortened course, Ironman issued a press release saying that all records set on would stand as Ironman course and world records. This meant that Starykowicz’s 3:54:59 and Annett’s 4:25:11 bike splits were recognized as both course and worldwide brand records.