Tough Pro Field Headed To Final 70.3 World Championship In Vegas

  • By Liz Hichens
  • Published Sep 5, 2013
  • Updated Jul 29, 2015 at 5:02 PM UTC
Leanda Cave had a well-rounded day to win in 2012. Photo: Jeff Bottari

Women’s Preview

Like Kienle, 2012 70.3 world champion Leanda Cave (GBR) has had a tough year of injuries. Cave struggled with illness and injuries in 2012 and then came back to win both the 70.3 and Ironman world titles, so don’t count her out. Cave is one of the most well-rounded athletes in the sport and is capable of winning again if she can show up to the start line healthy.

Though Melissa Hauschildt (AUS) raced last year, she was not in her top form due to injury and didn’t meet the hype following her stellar 2011 70.3 world championship performance. Hauschildt structured her season in a unique way, choosing to compete early, take a break and then return to competing over the past couple of months. She dominated 70.3 Boulder and 70.3 Timberman, showing the run form that gave her the title two years ago.

One major question mark in the women’s race is 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lisa Norden. It would be easy to call her the favorite, except for the fact that a foot injury has derailed her season and even forced her to withdraw from the Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Cup only one week ago. Norden has the advantage of having Alexander as her coach and mentor, but how her foot feels on the run will be the determining factor in her result on Sunday.

Despite an amazing season in which she has shown tremendous improvement on the run, Canadian Heather Wurtele has remained somewhat under the radar heading into this Vegas race. Wurtele finished on the podium at 70.3 California, 70.3 St. George and won 70.3 Panama, Rev3 Quassy and Ironman Coeur d’Alene. She’s capable of out-biking most of the women on the start list, but she’ll have to keep the damage out of the 1.2-mile swim to a minimum to be in contention in the early miles of the bike.

The same will be the case for American Heather Jackson, who finished third in this race last year. She had an amazing start to 2013 with wins at Escape from Alcatraz, 70.3 California and the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon, before finishing second at 70.3 Boise and 70.3 Vineman. This is her “A” race for the season, and she’ll be looking for the win that has eluded her the last three years.

Other athletes to watch for include 2012 second-place finisher Kelly Williamson (USA), recent 70.3 Racine winner Angela Naeth (CAN), 70.3 Auckland winner Annabel Luxford (AUS), 2012 London Olympian Laura Bennett (USA), 2010 70.3 world champion Jodie Swallow (GBR) and 70.3 St. George runner-up Svenja Bazlen (GER).

See the complete start list below:

60 Leanda Cave GBR
61 Heather Wurtele CAN
62 Kelly Williamson USA
63 Annabel Luxford AUS
64 Melissa Hauschildt AUS
65 Heather Jackson USA
66 Lisa Huetthaler AUT
67 Catriona Morrison GBR
68 Margaret Shapiro USA
70 Emma-kate Lidbury GBR
71 Sarah Crowley AUS
72 Joanna Lawn NZL
75 Amy Marsh USA
77 Melanie Mcquaid CAN
78 Angela Naeth CAN
79 Tenille Hoogland CAN
80 Laura Bennett USA
81 Amber Ferreira USA
82 Mandy Mclane USA
84 Rebecca Hoschke AUS
86 Svenja Bazlen DEU
87 Daniela Ryf CHE
88 Magali Tisseyre CAN
89 Ashley Clifford USA
90 Miranda Tomenson CAN
91 Jeanni Seymour ZAF
92 Kate Bevilaqua AUS
93 Heather Leiggi USA
94 Sonja Tajsich DEU
95 Molly Roohi USA
96 Jennie Hansen USA
97 Leslie Lamacchia USA
98 Bree Wee USA
99 Uli Bromme USA
100 Lisa Norden SWE

RELATED PHOTOS: 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Championship

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FILED UNDER: Ironman / Race Coverage TAGS:

Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens

Liz Hichens is the Web Editor of She is an Ironman and marathon finisher and fan of all endurance sports.

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