Ironman Texas is the first U.S. Ironman of the season and will run Saturday, May 17 in the Woodlands area of Houston, Texas. Four Canadian pros will toe the line including Sara Gross, Christine Fletcher, Cindy Lewis and Karen Thibodeau. On the men’s side, Canadian Jeff Symonds had to withdraw after a crash in Galveston 70.3 set his training back. But the Challenge Penticton champ will be ready to go at Boise. British pro Paul Amey will look to defend his Texas title against likely challengers Jordan Rapp (USA), Bevan Docherty (NZL) and Chris McDonald (AUS).
With 2013 winner Rachel Joyce (GBR) not returning, the women’s title is open. Americans Kelly Williamson, Bree Wee, Sarah Piampiano, Jackie Arendt and Jacqui Gordon are certain push the front end as will the Canadian women. Sara Gross was 2nd at Ironman Brazil last year and is ready to for the action this weekend: “I’m pretty excited about it (mixed in with the usual trepidation that comes with Ironman racing). I had some bad luck early in the season when I got sick in Mexico, so I am really ready to get out there and execute the race that I know I have in me. That’s what I look forward to on Saturday,” she told TMC.
Vancouver pro Fletcher was 4th at Ironman Canada last year and she’s feeling confident in her training. Fletcher has been preparing for the heat and humidity of Texas with a training camp in Kona and time spent on riding in a heated garage with training and business partner Steph Corker (www.mobettahtogether.com). “We’ve both been on top of our hydration and fuelling plans to ensure we adapt as much as possible to the conditions we’ ll face in Texas. I’m hoping to just have a great race executed to the best of my abilities. We’re excited to put all our training into practice, “ she explained.
Good luck athletes!