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. On the heels of a multi-year partnership extension between Ironman and Facebook, 17 events will be live-streamed this season. The first event to air on Facebook will be the Ironman African Championship on Sunday, April 7th. Taking place along the Eastern Cape, the race will have more than a few stunning views along the course.
The day begins on Hobie Beach with a 3.8K swim in calm waters around Nelson Mandela Bay. This year’s bike course will be two laps of the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championship course done in reverse. After 180K on the bike, it’s a 42.2K run (four laps) through Port Elizabeth.
Daniela Ryf and Lucy Charles. Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
Lauren Brandon racing at Ironman Mont-Tremblant.
Bart Aernouts, Patrick Lange and David McNamee. Photo: @ironmantri
This year’s race boasts a lot of talent. On the women’s side, Lucy Barclay-Charles (GBR), a two-time runner up in Kona, will be going up against the likes of Lauren Brandon (USA), the second-place finisher at Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2018. Both Barclay-Charles and Brandon have world-class talent in the water, so you can expect to see them out ahead of the rest of the field coming into T1.
On the men’s side, a deep field of 37 athletes has made the start list. Bart Aernouts (BEL) and David McNamee (GBR) are both expected to toe the line in South Africa. Last year in Kona, Aernouts and McNamee finished one-two behind Patrick Lange (GER). American Ben Hoffman and Australian Josh Amberger are also expected to race the Ironman African Championship. Last season, Hoffman struggled with injuries and had to withdraw from the world championships due to a stress fracture. Now healthy and with a new bike sponsor, Cervélo, Hoffman is ready to get back to the top step – he has won the Ironman African Championships twice (2017 & 2016).
Related: Cervélo launches the new P3X
To watch the race, you can stream by using your Facebook account and going to the Ironman Now page.