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Ironman racing returns in Mexico and Australia

75 Kona qualifying slots up for grabs for the aproximately 300 entrants of Ironman Cairns

Photo by: Getty Images

Ironman recently celebrated the return of racing with a bunch of events in Europe – this weekend it looks like we’ll see racing happening on a couple of different continents. Mexico will host Ironman 70.3 Cozumel, while Australia is set to host the Asia-Pacific Championship and a 70.3 event in Cairns.

A couple of Canadian pros will be in the field at Ironman 70.3 Cozumel – Jackson Laundry and Taylor Reid, fresh off top performances at the Canadian Professional Triathlon Championship (they were key organizers of the event, too) are part of the strong field of pros expected to converge on the Caribbean island just off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

You can see the full pro list here.

Jackson Laundry wins the Canadian Pro Triathlon Championship. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon
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After his impressive win in Caledon a few weeks ago, Laundry will certainly be one of the men to watch this weekend. Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez Cruz, a former Xterra world champion, will wear race #1, with Austria’s Michael Weiss, the runner up at the full-disatance race in Cozumel last November, wearing #2. Bermuda’s Tyler Butterfield, the winner of Ironman Cozumel last year, is also entered in the race.

Others in the field to keep an eye on include Ironman world-record holder Matt Hanson (USA) and his countryman Sam Long, who duelled this spring with Canadian Lionel Sanders on the Mt. Lemmon Strava segment.

There are no Canadian women entered in the pro race in Cozumel, which features former 70.3 world champion Holly Lawrence and American Kelsey Withrow.

Based on the list of entrants on the Ironnman 70.3 Cozumel website, there appears to be about 500 athletes in the age group field vying for 4 slots to the 2021 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah.

Sunrise at the Palm Cove jetty located North of Cairns, Australia.

Cairns Asia-Pacific Championship

It’s certainly not the pro field we would have seen if the race had taken place in June without the COVID-19 pandemic, but the 12 men and 9 women on the start list for this weekend’s Asia-Pacific Championship will certainly put on a competitive show at the spectacular event in Queensland, Australia.

Australia’s own Sarah Crowley, the 2017 winner, will highlight the women’s field that also includes American super-mom, Beth McKenzie, the Netherlands’ Els Visser and New Zealand’s Amelia Watkinson, who is probably the most likely to push Crowley for the title. All but one of the men in the men’s field is Australian, and the list of Aussie favourites is formidable – it includes super-swimmer Josh Amberger, former 70.3 world champ Timothy Reed and Tim Van Berkel.

The bike course has been modified, but still will include some stunning scenery along the coast. The 300 or so age group athletes in the field might not care a lot about that, though, considering many will have an incredible opportunity to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. There appear to be about 300 age group athletes entered in the race, which offers 75 qualifying slots for Kona next year.

The field for the 70.3 event appears to be a bit larger, and also includes 75 qualification slots for next year’s Ironman 70.3 world championship in St. George, Utah.