How to watch Ironman Texas – the Americas Championship
This weekend's race features 10 pro and 200 age group Ironman World Championship qualifying slotsPhoto by: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for Ironman
This weekend’s Ironman Texas serves as the Americas Championship and offers a whopping five pro men’s and women’s qualifying slots for the Ironman World Championship (in addition to a $175,000 prize purse) – which has attracted a strong field that should make Saturday’s live coverage more than a little interesting.
The 12th edition of Ironman Texas, held in The Woodlands, just outside of Houston, will feature live coverage on IRONMAN.com/LIVE, IRONMAN YouTube and Facebook.
The race starts at 6:25 am local time (7:25 am EST, 4:25 am PST).
Age group qualifying
As the Americas Championship, the race also offers increased qualifying slots for age group athletes – there are 100 men’s slots available for the Ironman World Championship in Nice in September, and 100 women’s slots for the Ironman World Championship in Kona in October.
There are 2,300 registered athletes in the race from 57 different countries.
McCauley returns to defend, Matthews continues comeback
The women’s race features the return of defending champion Jocelyn McCauley, but eyes will be on Great Britain’s Kat Matthews, who was hit by a car while training for last year’s race in Kona in Texas. Heading into last year’s world championship in Kona, Matthews was considered a pre-race favourite after her runner-up finish at the Ironman World Championship in St. George and her top finish at the Sub8 project.
Others to watch in the field include American Lauren Brandon, Switzerland’s Joanna Ryter, Canadian Jen Annett and Denmark’s Maja Stage Nielsen. The ageless Dede Griesbauer, who won the Ultraman World Championship last year, is also competing.
52-year-old wins women’s Ultraman World Championship and finishes third overall
You can see the full pro list here.
Fast runners in the house
American Matt Hanson is a three time winner at Ironman Texas and, thanks to his win at Ironman Des Moines last year, a four-time winner of the Americas Championship. He’ll be taking on Joe Skipper, who has become a dad recently, but is coming off a wins at Ironman Arizona and Ironman Wales last year, along with a fifth-place Kona finish and a respectable performance at the Sub7 project. Hanson is renowned as one of the sport’s premier runners, but Skipper posted an impressive 2:37 split at Wales last year and held Hanson off to take the title in Arizona.
Beals has posted fast marathon times, as well, in his four Ironman titles in Mont-Tremblant (2018 and 2019), Chattanooga (2018) and Lake Placid (2022). Belgium’s Bart Aernouts, the Kona runner up in 2018, is also known for his speedy bike and run splits.
While he’s not typically one of the fastest runners in a field, American Rudy Von Berg won his Ironman debut in France last year, so should also be in the mix for a podium finish in the men’s race.