These two top pros will be showing off their racing versatility by competing in all three championship races: the Hy-Vee 5150 U.S. Championship Elite Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, which took place Labor Day weekend; the Ironman 70.3 World Championship at Lake Las Vegas, Nev., this weekend; and the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in October.
No women will be racing in all three this year, though a few had the potential to. Meredith Kessler (USA) raced Hy-Vee, finishing seventh, and will be racing Kona but not Vegas, and reigning Ironman and 70.3 world champ Leanda Cave (GBR) decided to withdraw from Hy-Vee a few days before the race to save herself for Vegas. Liz Blatchford (GBR) placed ninth in Hy-Vee last weekend but has decided not to race in Vegas to focus on Kona—as of just a few weeks ago, she placed fourth in Ironman Mont-Tremblant in order to even earn her spot on the Hawaii start line.
Bevan Docherty (NZL)
The two-time Olympic medalist has had an impressive long-course season so far, including winning his debut Ironman at Ironman New Zealand early in the year. He also won 70.3 Vineman (and set the course record) and 70.3 Boise, and placed third at Rev3 Quassy.
The Auckland, New Zealand, native, who now lives in Santa Cruz, Calif., placed sixth at the Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Cup last weekend, and this weekend, he will be looking to improve on his third-place 70.3 world championship from last year, and then will be making his debut at Ironman Hawaii next month. When asked what the key is to being successful across all three distances, he simply said, “Working on your weakness.”
Luke McKenzie (AUS)
Aussie pro triathlete Luke McKenzie added his sixth Ironman title to his résumé this year with his victory at Ironman Cairns—his first Ironman win on Australian soil. He now lives much of the year in Cardiff, Calif., near San Diego, and has had a long-time goal of winning the Ironman World Championship, which he first raced in 2006 (his top finish was ninth in 2011). He placed 19th at Hy-Vee last weekend, and will be racing in the Vegas desert this weekend before heading on to Kona for the Ironman World Championship five weeks later.
McKenzie credits his short-course background for helping him race well across the Olympic, half-iron and iron distances. “I think coming from a short-course racing background early in my career doing the ITU series and the U.S. non-drafting events and then continuing to compete at the Olympic distance around my Ironman races has kept me competitive at any non-drafting format.”
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