The line up at Ironman Western Australia has grown over the past month or so to include some impressive athletes. The likes of high profile athlete, Bek Keat will be having a crack this Sunday, plus a few sneaky under the radar types like Mirjam Weerd. The swim course is one of the best in the world, where athletes follow the Busselton jetty to the very tip and back again. They then complete three laps on the dead flat bike course, where the heat and the potential wind are the only factors that will pull the field apart. The run is four loops, making this course a very spectator friendly event. Here’s our run down.

 

Bek Keat is our favourite going into Sunday’s Ironman Western Australia in Busselton. After a 13th at the World Championships in Hawaii, Keat was disappointed with her effort and rallied, opting to sign up for the Ironman 70.3 Shepparton just three weeks ago. With minimal training after Hawaii, Bek felt sluggish on the bike, claiming it was a ‘sufferfest’ for the most part of the 90kms, but knocked out a super impressive 1:22 run to not only take the title convincingly, but, break her own course record. In 2004 she won in a time of 9:03 here, and in 2010 she came second with a slower run by her standards. If Keat is in similar form to how she looked at Shepparton, she’ll be unstoppable. Her killer run will seal the deal.

 

Pocket rocket, Britta Martin’s run is quite impressive, as witnessed as she flew around the Port Macquarie 70.3 course, pulling in an 11 minute lead to Kate Baker, and running a 1:24 off a tough bike course.  In just over nine hours, she came fifth at Challenge Roth earlier this year, with a 3:04 run off a sub-5hr bike ride. She also came second to Gina Crawford at Challenge Wanaka at the start of the year. She out biked and out ran Crawford, only losing time to her in the swim.  She can move, that’s for sure.

 

Speaking of Challenge Roth, Mirjam Weerd from the Netherlands, came sixth here this year, only 1:29 behind Martin in a time of 9:02:39. Her swim/bike combination was the key coming off the bike in second behind Rachel Joyce, and although being passed by a few on the run, she still ran a decent 3:12:35. She will have to make a dent on the bike, which may be tough on this super flat course.

 

Bree Wee, who lives in Kona, has made the trek to Busselton, only just arriving safely after a few issues with driving on the left hand side of the road. With consistency across all three disciplines, she had a win at Ironman Louisville in August this year.

 

New Zealander, Belinda Harper is a decent swim/biker. In Cairns earlier this year, she had an outstanding performance, and stuck close to Bek Keat on the bike course, biking just over five hours and in the end only gave Keat five minutes into T2. She took the lead on the marathon when Keat pulled out due to a calf tear, and remained in front until Carrie Lester caught her with about 12kms to go, and claimed second place. For Harper to be on the podium she will, like Weerd, will have to do some damage on the swim and the bike, as there are some strong runners in this field.

 

Other Aussies lining up this weekend are Bec Hoschke and Nic Ward. Hoschke has been improving all year. Although, her swim is still a ways behind some of the leaders, so she will have her work cut out for her trying to catch the other women on the bike. Ward’s has a good swim and run. She usually makes in roads when she hits the pavement. But, with some strong cyclists out there, including Dana Wagner, who will definitely do some damage on the bike, Ward will have to make sure she doesn’t lose too much time on two wheels.

It’s a hard race for professionals who have been racing overseas at it’s well and truly the end of their season…

 

Start list

Rebekah Keat AUST
Bree Wee USA
Britta Martin NZ
Rebecca Hoschke AUST
Nicole Ward AUST
Belinda Harper NZ
Heidi Sessner GER
Joanna Carritt GBR
Renee Lane AUST
Megumi Shigaki JAP
Dana Wagner GER
Jacqui Grodon USA
Mirjam Weerd NED

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