Written by: Liz Hichens
In the spirit of racing close to home, both Australia’s Craig Alexander and New Zealand’s Samantha Warriner will return to Geelong to defend their 2009 victories.
Despite the caliber of some of the names in this weekend’s Ironman 70.3 Geelong, the race’s placement at the end of many athlete’s off seasons means that it is possible for lesser-known athletes to take the victories.
Alexander will face a tough field made of a mixture of up-and-coming and veteran Australian triathletes.
As one of Australia’s top cyclists, Mitch Anderson will likely be a contender in the first two legs of the race. Other veteran contenders include Tim Berkel and Jason Shortis. Younger Australians looking to de-throne Alexander include Chris Dmitrieff, Matty White and Stephen Hackett.
The women’s race will likely be a two-athlete battle between Warriner and Switzerland’s Caroline Steffen. Warriner burst onto the 70.3 race scene at this race last year with a win. Steffen’s breakthrough came just a few months ago at the Ironman World Championship 70.3 triathlon in Clearwater, Florida. Steffen just missed out on a podium finish after being taken over by Canadian Magali Tisseyre in the final moments of the race and she was forced to settle for fourth.
The remaining field consists of Australia’s Lisa Marangon, Nicole Ward, Ali Fitch, Amelia Pearson and Carrie Lester.