Start spreading the news… It’s Ironman New York time. This inaugural event is one of the last Ironman events on this season’s calendar that can be used to gain points to qualify for the 2012 Ironman World Championships (the last being Ironman Canada, 26th August). It also serves as the United States Championships race, securing a $125,000 prize purse, 4000 KPR points and 75 slots for age groupers wanting to qualify for Kona as well.
The start list is nothing short of impressive. Names that jump out straight away include, Mary Beth Ellis, a 4 x Ironman Champion, the fastest US Ironman record holder, and the fourth fastest Iron-distance athlete ever. She is also on team TBB, and let’s face it, the Doc, Brett Sutton is most definitely on a roll with his athletes at the moment (most recently Nicola Spirig and her win at the Olympics).
Amy Marsh, who was born and raised in Rochester, New York, will also be back to her roots in New York for the Ironman this weekend. Ellis and Marsh lined up against each other at Ironman Texas earlier this year, and were neck and neck all race. They had a strong swim/bike combination, but it was Ellis who ran away with the win, while Marsh was relegated to third position after Caitlin Snow’s inpressive marathon performance.
Witsup’s very own ambassador, Australia’s Rebekah Keat, is back to have another crack at the Ironman distance for the first time since having to withdraw from Ironman Cairns with a calf injury, just six kilometres into the marathon. Keat has had a few hit outs since Cairns, including a 6th at Vineman 70.3 in mid-July against a stacked field. Her swim and run times were amongst the fastest of the day at Vineman. If her bike leg is up to her Cairns standard, then Keat will be flying in New York. In Keat’s word, “I’m fired up! Got some business to take care of.” Because of Keat’s injury in Cairns she is yet to qualify for Kona, and had to rearrange her racing calendar to secure points for the World Championships. You can bet that will be another driving factor for the Australian.
Some other names to keep an eye on are the likes of Hillary Biscay to be first out of the water, Heleen bij de Vaate, Lucie Zelenkova, our Australians, Kate Bevilaqua, Christie Sym and Michelle Mitchell, and one of our contributors, New Zealander, Michelle Bremer. The list continues with decent athletes lining up, so please see below for the full start list.
Athletes start with a dip in the Hudson River. A point to point swim, athletes will keep the Palisades cliffs on their right, and will be aiming for the George Washington Bridge. The tides are predictable in the Hudson, and at approximately 7:45am, the tides will become favourable to athletes. Professionals leave at 6:50am with the age groupers at 7:00am. However, there has been a sewerage leak in the Hudson, which may affect the quality of the water where athletes are swimming. Athletes will be notified Friday, 4:00pm (Saturday 6:00am AEST).
Athletes will then head North along the Palisades, completing two laps of a rolling course with a maximum elevation of 203m before they ride back along the Hudson terrace and back to transition. The drafting zone for this race is seven metres, not twelve as we have seen in races lately.
The run course starts with a 500m climb out of transition as athletes head North again for 2 x 11.26km loops that includes 2oom of elevation, but athletes will be shaded for the majority of the run. Almost 23km completed, athletes then run up the stairs of the George Washington Bridge and then take in approximately 1.8kms worth of Manhatten skyline views as they run across the bridge to Manhattan Island. Taking in some of the streets near Cabrini Boulevard, athletes will then run back along the Hudson River Greenway, and finish north of the Warsaw Ghetto Memorial at 83rd st, which is just blocks to the West of the middle of Central Park.
|IRONMAN NYC – US CHAMPS START LIST|
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