Voted by Triathlete magazine as one of the Top 10 Most Scenic Races in the World, Ironman 70.3 Calgary takes place this weekend. Top professionals will be toeing the starting line as they vie for a place at the 2011 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Las Vegas. The race also offers 40 qualifying age-grouper spots for the 70.3 world championship.
Athletes will begin the course with a one-loop swim in the waters of Ghost Lake set against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains in Provincial Park. They will then head onto a point-to-point bike course offering challenging rolling hills and expansive views of the Canadian prairies. The bike course is actually a bit long, measuring just under 94K. Racers will then head out for their half marathon on an out-and-back run course heading through North and South Glenmore Park and Weaselhead Natural Environment Park.
On the starting list for the professional men is American Timothy O’Donnell—he completed his first iron-distance triathlon this year at Ironman Texas, where he placed second. O’Donnell is considered a favorite to take the title. Also expected to earn a podium finish is New Zealand’s Kieran Doe—who took the title last year.
On the women’s side, look for a strong fight from Tenille Hoogland who had her breakthrough year last year. She scored wins at the ITU Pan-American Cup San Francisco and the San Francisco Triathlon at Alcatraz. Canadian Sara Gross will be racing on home turf. She has had successful finishes in 2011 at Canadian-based races including a win at the Subaru Victoria Half Iron. She recently took a DNF at Ironman Brazil, so is looking to come back onto the racing scene with a podium finish.
The race takes place this Sunday.
Professional Line Up as of 7/28/2011