Sunday’s Ironman 70.3 Auckland will serve as the 70.3 Asia Pacific Championship, which means it will hand out 1500 Kona Pro Ranking (KPR) to the winners. The P-1500 designation is the highest possible for a 70.3 race outside of the world championship in Henderson, Nev.
Despite the fact that most professionals are working their way out of the off-season, the opportunity to gain these valuable points toward Kona qualification has brought out a strong field.
The race is based out of the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland and includes a 1.2-mile swim in Viaduct Harbor, a 56-mile bike ride including a stretch over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and a 13.1-mile around the harbor.
The women’s field will feature 2011 Ironman 70.3 world champion Melissa Hauschildt. Hauschildt struggled with injury through much of 2012 and will look to earn points toward a possible Kona start in 2013. Also racing is last year’s Kona runner-up finisher Caroline Steffen of Switzerland. The Team TBB all-star always has a busy racing season, and it looks like 2013 won’t be any different. Finally, Australians Annabel Luxford and Rebecca Hoschke will also look for valuable points on Sunday. Former ITU athlete Liz Blatchford (GBR) will also be in Auckland.
The men’s race features a trio of talented Kiwis: Terenzo Bozzone, Cameron Brown and Bevan Docherty will all make the start in front of their home-country fans. Also making the start are Cameron Dye (USA) and Fraser Cartmell (GBR). The pro field features a strong Australian contingent, highlighted by Tim Berkel, Joe Gambles, Luke Bell and Paul Ambrose.
See the complete professional start list below. The race takes place 6:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. EST Saturday). Coverage will be available at Ironmanlive.com.
Tim Van Berkel
Roger Witz Barnes