Saturday’s Ironman North American Championship in the Woodlands, Texas will feature a strong Canadian contingent of pros.
Leading the way will be two-time Ironman champion Brent McMahon, who is taking on the Texas course for the first time after a number of years of competing at Ironman Brazil.
“Ironman Texas is a new race for me,” says Victoria’s McMahon. “I like the comfort of competing on courses I’ve done well at, but I also love going into a new race with no expectations. I just focus on my personal effort and taking the course and race dynamic as it comes. No comparisons to previous paces or lap times, just going hard and fast on the day!”
Also representing Canada in the stacked men’s field that includes 2013 Ironman world champion Frederik Van Lierde and super-biker Andrew Starykowicz will be Ottawa’s Jordan Monnink, who made an impressive full-distance debut at Ironman Mont-Tremblant last year, where he finished third.
Speaking of super-bikers, Penticton’s Jen Annett will take on a tough women’s field. Annett blazed to a 4:38 bike split at Ironman Arizona last November, eventually finishing third. Annett will have some fast-biking company in Texas as two of the race favorites, Australia’s Melissa Hauschildt and Denmark’s Michelle Vesterby are also renowned as strong cyclists.
Ottawa’s Robyn Hardage is also competing on the weekend. After finishing as the top age grouper (and third overall) at Ironman Lake Placid last year Hardage turned pro and finished sixth at Ironman Louisville and 13th at Ironman Arizona.