Racing galore all over the globe this weekend, including two full iron-distance races, and a couple of other opportunities to grab points in the Challenge European Series.

Text By Laura Siddall | Images By Talbot Cox, Getty Images and Witsup



Gossage Goes After Another Win In Italy

Photo: Getty Images

The inaugural Ironman Italy Emilia-Romagna race takes place this weekend in the seaside town of Cervia.

A field of 22 pro women will take to the start line, led by Italian Martina Dogana. Dogana finished seventh at Challenge Roth this year and has a solid resume of wins and podiums.

Lucy Gossage is going for the dirty double, backing up from winning Ironman Wales just two weeks ago, perhaps also going for a double set of early season points for Kona 2018? (Note: author’s comments not from Lucy.)

Wales is one of the toughest courses around, but Gossage had a relatively comfortable win, so will be interesting to see if she was able to control the effort towards the end in Wales and to recover and prepare for Italy.

Tine Deckers also lines up, coming off a string of first places having won Challenge Geraardsbergen (half), Alpe D’Huez and Embrunman. Deckers is a five-time winner of Ironman France and on the form she has will be a strong contender for the top spot in Italy.

Another Brit on the start line is Caroline Livesey. She finished sixth at Ironman 70.3 Ruegen a few weeks ago having returned to racing after an unpleasant attack by a stranger whilst out cycling. Livesey was out training coming off the back of a great result at Ironman Texas.

“A van driver became impatient at having to wait behind a bike on a twisty country road. This This impatience was compounded when he had to slam his brakes on to avoid hitting a dog, and Caroline narrowly avoided hitting the back of his van. With anger out of all proportion to the incident, the driver then waited around a blind bend for Caroline slightly further up the road. When she rounded the bend he got out of his vehicle and proceeded to pull Caroline off her bike. As she was moving at speed the resulting impact left Caroline with nasty bruising to her back and head and a fractured sacrum.” (

Ironman Italy 2017 Start List

Bib number Last name First name Age Group Country Represented
66 Dogana Martina FPRO ITA (ITALY)
68 Deckers Tine FPRO BEL (BELGIUM)
69 Deligny Camille FPRO FRA (FRANCE)
70 Bellinga Rahel FPRO NLD (NETHERLANDS)
71 Fletcher Jenny FPRO CAN (CANADA)
72 Bueno Perez Patricia FPRO ESP (SPAIN)
73 Graaf Emma FPRO SWE (SWEDEN)
74 Herrero Gomez Helena FPRO ESP (SPAIN)
75 Hooijman Pleuni FPRO NLD (NETHERLANDS)
77 Lehrieder Carolin FPRO DEU (GERMANY)
78 Lindholm Borg Camilla FPRO SWE (SWEDEN)
79 Livesey Caroline FPRO GBR (UNITED KINGDOM)
80 Steurer Bianca FPRO AUT (AUSTRIA)
82 Gruber Elisabeth FPRO AUT (AUSTRIA)
83 Castro Nogueira Saleta FPRO ESP (SPAIN)
84 Brown Brooke FPRO CAN (CANADA)
86 Bernardi Marta FPRO ITA (ITALY)
87 Weiß Beatrice FPRO AUT (AUSTRIA)

(c) Getty Images

Lester Looks To Remain Champ In Chattanooga

After a male-only pro race at Chattanooga in 2016, this year the women get centre stage.

In 2015 Carrie Lester won the title and is on the start list to return. She’s coming off a great second half to the year with a win at Ironman France and a second at Embrunmann (also iron distance) in back to back races.

It’ll be a great race with Liz Lyles also on the start list as well and coming off a win at Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz just the other week.

Add into the mix Kim Schwbenbauer, who made a fantastic return to long distance racing by running her way to third at Ironman Mont Tremblant this year.

The likes of Kelly Williamson and Uli Bromme, also likely to be in the mix and Fawn Whiting coming off a fifth at Ironman Whistler. Many of the women on the start list are capable of making the top five or the podium.

Ironman Chattanooga 2017 Start List

1 Lester Carrie WPRO AUS (Australia)
2 Lyles Liz WPRO USA (United States of America)
3 Williamson Kelly WPRO USA (United States of America)
4 Bromme Uli WPRO USA (United States of America)
5 Schwabenbauer Kim WPRO USA (United States of America)
6 Roberts Lisa WPRO USA (United States of America)
7 Miller Leslie WPRO USA (United States of America)
8 Bruck Kate WPRO USA (United States of America)
9 Capone Lauren WPRO USA (United States of America)
10 Casey Terry WPRO USA (United States of America)
11 Donavan Jessica WPRO USA (United States of America)
12 Fillnow Kelly WPRO USA (United States of America)
13 Godesky Alyssa WPRO USA (United States of America)
14 Moench Skye WPRO USA (United States of America)
15 Paulson Ashley WPRO USA (United States of America)
16 Roberts Darbi WPRO USA (United States of America)
17 Whiting Fawn WPRO CAN (Canada)

(c) Getty Images

Deep Field In Cozumel

Sue Huse returns to Cozumel as the defending champion with deservedly top ranking number. But there’s a deep field of 17 women, many of who are good contenders for the win and podium.

Leanda Cave is always one to watch, with an illustrious list of career results and always competitive.

Magali Tisseyre returns to the half distance, having been racing a few full iron distance races this year. Tisseyre was regularly at the top of the podium over the half distance in previous years.

Celine Schaerer won Cozumel 70.3 in 2015, and was fifth in 2016, so knows the course well. Schaerer also took her first Ironman win at Ironman Switzerland last month, securing her spot for Kona.

Keep an eye out for Canadia Stephanie Roy. A new Pro but already secured some podium finishes and won Ironman 70.3 Raleigh back in July.

Another one to watch is Alissa Doehla (she’s also on the start list for Augusta 70.3 this weekend.)

Doehla recently finished second to Heather Jackson, with an impressive run at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead, and had previously finished third at Ironman 70.3 Racine again with a quick run. (Note: Racine was a bike/run as the swim was cancelled due to weather.)

Ironman 70.3 Cozumel 2017 Start List

31 Huse Sue FEMALE CAN
32 Cave Leanda FEMALE USA
33 Tisseyre Magali FEMALE CAN
34 Schaerer Celine FEMALE CHE
35 Andresen Julie FEMALE NOR
36 Basso Anne FEMALE FRA
37 Brown Christen FEMALE USA
38 Castillo Diana FEMALE COL
39 Doehla Alissa FEMALE USA
40 Gaudet Annie‐Claude FEMALE CAN
41 Komander Ewa FEMALE POL
42 Leiggi Heather FEMALE USA
44 Roy Stephanie FEMALE CAN
45 Schoenfeld Daniela FEMALE GTM
46 Schoenfeld Rabanales Barbara FEMALE GTM
47 Smith Sierra FEMALE USA
48 Thoes Svenja FEMALE DEU

Seymour Set To Sizzle In Augusta

UPDATE: Jeanni Seymour will not be racing in Augusta this weekend.

Jeanni Seymour is definitely having a fantastic year. Third in Augusta last year, she returns in 2017 as the top-ranking seed. Seymour may not have had the day she may have wanted in Chattanooga at the Ironman World 70.3 Championships, finishing eighth, but it was a quality field with many of the women capable of getting on the podium on their day. That said Seymour is definitely on the up and will go into this race rightly so as one of the favourites.

(c) Talbot Cox

Sarah True finished an impressive forth at Chattanooga, running herself through the field in the later stages of the run. True is in her first season of half iron distance racing and has secured podiums in all her races. Her fourth at the World Champs definitely signals that she’s going to be one of the best over this distance in the coming years.

Alissa Doehla is one to watch, but she’s also on the start list for Cozumel. She who recently finished second to Heather Jackson, with an impressive run at Ironman 70.3 Steelhead, and had previously finished third at Ironman 70.3 Racine again with a quick run. (Note: Racine was a bike/run as the swim was cancelled due to weather.)

Keep an eye out for Cecilia Davis-Hayes. This new pro and medical student has been quietly getting better and better over the year with several top five finishes, her most recent was a fifth at Santa Cruz 70.3.

As an amateur last year Davis-Hayes was regularly the overall amateur winner and is the 2017 Collegiate Triathlon National Champion, she was also second at the Philadelphia Escape Triathlon earlier this year. Davis-Hayes was first a soccer player but soon found her talent in distance running. She’s also raced as a Pro Cyclist in the Tour of California, and so she’ll be moving up the field once out of the water. (That said her swim is solid and improving every race.)

Emma Kate Lidbury could also be in the mix. Having had a up and down few years with injuries. She returned to the Ironman 70.3 racing in Santa Cruz a few weeks ago, and will be relishing the fact she’s back on the start line again in Augusta.

Ironman 70.3 Augusta 2017 Start List

41 Seymour Jeanni FEMALE ZAF (South Africa)
42 Lidbury Emma Kate FEMALE GBR (United Kingdom)
43 McQuaid Melanie FEMALE CAN (Canada)
47 Benner Holly FEMALE USA (United States of America)
48 Davis‐Hayes Cecilia FEMALE USA (United States of America)
49 Doehla Alissa FEMALE USA (United States of America)
50 Donavan Jessica FEMALE USA (United States of America)
51 Frades Gurutze FEMALE ESP (Spain)
52 Higgins Brittany FEMALE USA (United States of America)
53 Hill Alycia FEMALE USA (United States of America)
54 Jones Stephanie FEMALE USA (United States of America)
55 Mathews Laura FEMALE USA (United States of America)
57 Patterson Julie FEMALE USA (United States of America)
58 Shutt Beth FEMALE USA (United States of America)
59 Smith Lesley FEMALE USA (United States of America)
60 Snyder Sierra FEMALE USA (United States of America)
61 True Sarah FEMALE USA (United States of America)
62 Valentine Nicole FEMALE USA (United States of America)
63 Wendorff Amanda FEMALE USA (United States of America)
64 Sanjana Frankie FEMALE GBR (United Kingdom)

Vital Points On Offer At Challenge Madrid

Challenge Madrid is the last full distance race in the Challenge Europe series for this year. It’s a challenging point-to-point bike course with three decent climbs before descending back to start the run.

After cold temperatures and rain have affected Challenge Family’s last two races in Europe (Challenge Walchsee and Challenge Davos), here’s hoping that the city of Madrid has some Spanish sun and warmth for the day.

Sofie Goos has returned to racing this year following being stabbed whilst out running last year. Goos won Challenge Venice (full) and was third at Ironman Copenhagen. If Goos wins at the weekend she’ll also top the Challenge Family European Series with only a couple of races remaining.

Simona Krivankova has been in great form over the longer distance this year with two second-place finishes at Challenge Venice (behind Goos) and Challenge Regensburg. Only a win in Madrid will change Krivankova’s points in the Challenge Series, but of course still all to play for just in the race itself and another good result to add to the resume.

Erika Csomor is a consistently good performer and is a podium contender in Madrid.

Lisa Roberts, will be one of the athletes hoping that there is no rain or cold weather in Madrid as she’s experienced in Walchsee and Davos. It’ll be great to see Roberts unleash the form of the run we saw in Roth and challenge for the win.

With quite a few women still in contention for the top five spots in the Challenge Series, there’s everything to play for and it’s building up to a great series climax.

Challenge Madrid 2017 Start List

# Name
31 Sofía Goos
32 Erika Csomor
33 Monica Falgueras Velázquez,
34 Dolca Ollé Gatell
35 Carla van Rooijen
36 Simona Krivankova
37 Yvette Grice
38 Jana Candrova
39 Ma Teresa Martinez Bautista
40 Lisa Roberts
41 Gabriella Zelinka
42 Kathrin Walther
43 Vanessa Pereira


Eberhardt Eyes Another Victory

A small field of women assemble for Challenge Family Iskandar Puteri middle distance race. However, it should be a good battle between Laurel Wassner, Kathryn Haesner, Beate Goertz and Anna Eberhardt.

Eberhardt was second at Ironman 70.3 Bintan and won Ironman 70.3 Vietnam and Challenge Nakhon Nayok middle distance earlier this year. She’ll be the one to beat at Iskandar Puteri.

Challenge Iskandar Puteri 2017 Start List

Laurel Wassner USA

Kathryn Haesner NZL

Beate Goertz GER

Anna Eberhardt HUN


Ironman 70.3 Chongqing – postponed / cancelled

Unfortunately, Ironman 70.3 Chongqing was cancelled just a few days ago due to local authorities cancelling or postponing a series of public events. The official statement on the race site can be seen through here, or below. This means that the pros on the start list (also below) may appear on some of the other race lists at last minute, but at the time of writing the other lists have not been updated to reflect this.

We are disappointed to announce the postponement of the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Chongqing triathlon scheduled for September 24.

The local authorities have decided to cancel or postpone a series of public events in the next few weeks, unfortunately including IRONMAN 70.3 Chongqing, among others.  

 We profoundly regret that this situation but are committed to ensuring that you have the opportunity to fulfill your dream to cross an IRONMAN 70.3 or IRONMAN finish line.

 All athletes registered for the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 Chongqing will be contacted by Monday, September 18 with race transfer and race refund options. The 30 slots available from this race for the 2018 IRONMAN World Championship and 50 slots available for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be allocated among athletes who transfer into another race.

Ironman 70.3 Chongqing 2017 Start List

21 Bevilaqua Kate FEMALE AUS (Australia)
22 Watkinson Amelia Rose FEMALE NZL (New Zealand)
23 Withrow Kelsey FEMALE USA (United States of America)
24 Cameto Sarah FEMALE USA (United States of America)
25 Simmonds Imogen FEMALE CHE (Switzerland)
26 Wassner Laurel FEMALE USA (United States of America)
27 Meng Ying Zhong FEMALE CHN (China)


About The Author

Rob Sheeley is the Race Editor for WITSUP

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