Ironman 70.3 St. George, the US Pro Championship gets underway this weekend. The $75,000 prize purse and the 1,500 Ironman qualifying points have attracted a pro field deep including some of Canada’s top talent. At the helm is Brent Mcmahon who will be defending his 2013 victory. He will have company at the front with the likes of compatriot and Ironman Canada winner Trevor Wurtele. Olympic gold medalists, and world champs will also be in the mix including Jan Frodeno, Terenzo Bozzone, Sebastian Kienle, Andy Potts and Joe Gambles.
McMahon told TMC he is looking forward to getting on the start line this weekend: “I am really excited to be back in St George to defend my title after a block of great training and racing. I feel just as prepared as last year but with the experience of the win to bring strength and confidence. It is such a beautiful and challenging course to race so I hope to come back again and again. There’s a lot of great competition like last year so I am looking forward to the challenge.”
The women’s race is just as stacked. Fresh off her Ironman 70.3 Panama win, Angela Naeth will be on the start line. “This is my first time competing in St. George and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” she told TMC. “It’s a hilly course and this Saturday the forecast calls for some heat and wind (two elements I love). St. George is in my backyard and the surroundings are stunning. It’s a beautiful place and I’m eager to jump into another half-ironman this year.”
She will be joined by fellow Canadians Melanie McQuaid and Heather Wurtele who is fresh off a decisive win at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey. McQuaid’s bike prowess will be an asset on this course and Wurtele’s recent performances show her to be in top form.
“It has been a great season for me so far,” explained Wurtele, “[E]very race is an opportunity to really get out there and express my fitness. Women’s racing in long course triathlon is getting more and more competitive and I love it! With the world-class field assembled here I’m going to have to have an exceptional day all around to get on top of the podium. That’s definitely the objective! The course is super challenging and it makes for a great championship event. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all plays out on Saturday!” Wurtele continued.
The three Canadians will be racing some of the sport’s top talent including Jodie Swallow, Meredith Kessler, Julie Dibens and Mary Beth Ellis.