Biscay_600x400Looks like it will be a US show down at Ironman Wisconsin this weekend, with the return of a couple of previous champions – but there may be a new set of feet standing on top of the podium. Kelly Gallagher previews the event.

Madison, the capital city of the state of Wisconsin and home to the University of Wisconsin Badgers, plays host this weekend to the 12th edition of Ironman Wisconsin.  The race, which starts and finishes in the charming college town, features a 3.8 kilometre swim in Lake Monona in downtown Madison, a 180km bike on rolling rural roads dotted with more varieties of cattle than most people see in a lifetime (Wisconsin is the dairy capital of the United States) and a 42.2km run through the campus of the University of Wisconsin.  While many pros will be racing at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Henderson, Nevada, the Ironman Wisconsin field still features Ironman champions Jessica Jacobs and Hilary Biscay, 2012 Ironman Wisconsin runner up Beth Walsh and hometown favorite Jackie Arendt.

On paper it looks like Ironman Wisconsin will be dominated by Americans and will come down to a battle between 2011 Ironman Wisconsin champion Jacobs and 2012 Ironman Wisconsin runner up Walsh.  This will be Jacobs first 226km race in 2013 as she has spent most of the year focusing on 70.3s and recently finished fourth at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh and sixth at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead.  While Jacobs is a solid all-around athlete, the Wisconsin native has a particularly blistering run.  Jacobs laid down a 2:53 run split at Ironman Florida in 2011, making her a threat even if she loses some time on the swim and bike. Jacobs will face stiff competition from Walsh who missed out on first place at the 2012 Ironman Wisconsin by only four minutes.  Like Jacobs, Walsh is a solid all-around athlete with seriously fast run. In 2012 Walsh ran a 2:59 on the rolling Wisconsin run course. Also in the mix will be Biscay, the 2008 Ironman Wisconsin champion racing her 62nd Ironman (Biscay’s husband Maik Twelsiek will be a favorite in the professional men’s field) and Madison native Arendt. In addition it wouldn’t be surprising to see a breakthrough race from either Beth Schutt or Kendra Lee. Schutt has shown steady improvement in 2013, recently placing fifth at Steelhead 70.3 and Lee was the overall amateur winner at the 2012 Ironman Canada.

Start List:


 Jacobs Jessica WI


 Biscay Hillary AZ


 Walsh Beth CA


 Serpico Suzanne MD


 Lee Kendra CO


 Shutt Beth PA


 Lewis Cindy ON


 Homo Malaika UT


 Castro Saleta ESP


 Arendt Jackie WI


 Fillnow Kelly NC


 Horner Claire WP


Text: Kelly Gallagher

Photo credit: Delly Carr

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