There was a buzz of excitement in the air at the SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah press conference in Mandurah, Western Australia earlier today.
The SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah requires athletes to complete a demanding 1.9km swim, a 90km cycle and a 21.1km run, taking in the best that Mandurah has to offer.
Five of the world’s best IRONMAN 70.3 athletes gathered to share pre-race notes on their form and expectations leading into the inaugural IRONMAN 70.3 event on Sunday 21st October 2012.
Paul Ambrose (GBR) Racing SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah
On his race plan
“You have to play to your strengths. With elite level like this everyone is giving it their all and just going out from the front. This race could favour more to the runners as it’s a bit flatter but you just don’t know how it’s going to unfold, you just can’t have any expectations.”
On his season and racing in Mandurah
“My season is finishing now, this is going to be my last race for the year. It has been a long year. Destination plays a big part, it’s always good to see new places like Mandurah as I haven’t been here before.
“I am very happy with my season, you can’t have an absolutely perfect season but I podium placed in all of my races and have had really good results all through my year. Consistence is the goal and I probably had one my best years yet this year.”
Tim Berkel (Aust) Racing SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah
On his form and his predictions for the weekend ahead
“It’s been a funny year for me, I have had a lot of downs this year so I am hoping that this is going to be the start of my season. I am fresh and rearing to go for this race.
“There’s a strong field and anything could happen. Some guys are going to be fit and some guys are going to be tired. It’s going to be very interesting that is for sure, it’s going to be a really tough race.”
On his game plan for Sunday
“I have had a few podium places and it’s always nice to get a win so I am really hoping that the next few Aussie races I can actually get a run on the board. I am not putting pressure on myself I will just out there, do my best and that’s all I can do. I am really looking forward to getting back racing and here in the West will be great.”
Matty White (AUST) Racing SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah
On balancing training and his personal life
“The balance with juggling life with my baby girl and training has been really good. It has trimmed a lot of fat off my training. I feel better for it, more rested which is good.
“I am excited to be here and looking forward to the course and the future success of this race.”
His thoughts on the inaugural SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah race
“I am excited, this is the first time in a couple of years that I haven’t been in America racing. I have got to stay home and focus on the build-up to this race. I am a lot fresher than I have been in the last couple of years, it’s good to to be able to focus on the Australian season for once rather than being on the end of your tether.”
White’s pick on who will win
“Professional Sydney triathlete, Tim Reed.”
Lisa Maragnon (AUST) Racing SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah
On her season
“I love racing in Western Australia. My first IRONMAN 70.3 win was IRONMAN 70.3 Busselton and every year that I have come back to do that race I have had a podium finish. The beginning of the year wasn’t too good for me. My season hasn’t started in a good way, I have had injury and illness but it was great to experience the World Championship races that I have this year.
“I feel personally that I am starting to get back into form and this race is a perfect race to get into the Australian season of racing.”
Who to watch on Sunday
“Liz Blatchford, Mel Hauschildt, Annabel Luxford, Sarah Crowley, there is a really strong female field. I am just going to do what I have to do, stick with my plan and see what happens.”
Liz Blatchford (GBR) Racing SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah
Her take on the course
“The bike course is fast, flat, safe and a great bike course. I swam around the swim course this morning, it’s nice clean water and not too cold.”
On her season and change to long course racing
“It’s been a long season for me, I began racing in February here in Australia and the first half of season was devoted to try and make the Olympic team which didn’t work out for me. I race for Great Britain however spend half of my year in Australia which is where I grew up.
“I have changed to long course and non-drafting racing and the results that I have had since changing have been really promising. I have been in the States for the past three months and have done really well in my first few IRONMAN 70.3 races and I have really enjoyed them and I am excited about my new career path.”
On the inaugural race here in Mandurah
“I really enjoy choosing destination races. I know Perth and I know this area well as I grew up here and it’s good to be back. I feel like we do have some choices in the places where we race and if it’s a place like Mandurah, it’s amazing.”
On the IRONMAN 70.3 format
“From my experience of doing two IRONMAN 70.3 events this year I was on my threshhold the whole way and it really hurt, it’s possibly more competitive than a few years ago. The gaps are closed down between first, second and third place so you don’t have the luxury to ease up. It’s hard racing.”
The event will offer a USD 50,000 prize purse for the Australian Professional Championship.
Chief Executive Officer of USM EVENTS | IRONMAN ASIA PACIFIC, Mr Geoff Meyer, today announced that the 2013 SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah event will have 30 exclusive qualifying slots for the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
For further SunSmart IRONMAN 70.3 Mandurah event information visit www.ironmanmandurah.com.