70.3 Taupo Title On The Line For Top Female Pros

Friday 08 December 2023

Leading New Zealand triathletes and up-and-coming Australian challengers are set to do battle for the IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo title in the women’s professional race this Saturday 9 December.

IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo returns for the first time in four years, with the last race in 2019 won by Tauranga’s Hannah Berry.

“Preparations have gone well,” said Berry. “I enjoyed a bit of a break after the IRONMAN World Championship in Kona, and so have really only done a couple of solid weeks of training since then but have been feeling good so I’m confident I can put together a good race for me.

Whilst taking out the win is the ultimate goal, Berry will be able to relax into the race knowing she has already qualified for the 2024 VinFast IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

“I’m really stoked to have my spot already secure for the World Champs in Taupo next year,” she said. “This event will be huge for us, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to race a World Champs at home here in Taupo for the first time in history.

“Having my spot secured already also means that if I finish in the higher positions at this event on Saturday, the spots will roll down to some other local athletes hopefully, and the more Kiwis we can have qualified for the 2024 World Champs the better,” said Berry.

Auckland’s Rebecca Clarke, who finished third last December at IRONMAN 70.3 New Zealand, is excited to line up in Taupo for a home race after a big season of overseas racing.

“I'm feeling pretty relaxed and excited to finish off the year in one of my favourite places in New Zealand,” said Clarke. “With an off season break post IRONMAN World Championship in Kona and having downtime at home, preparation has been quite short, but sessions have gone well in the last couple of weeks which gives me confidence and excitement to race.

“I always love lining up at races at home, it's been nine months since the last race here, IRONMAN New Zealand, and while racing overseas is amazing, it makes you appreciate how awesome the races we have here are and especially the ease of racing in towns such as Taupo. Race logistics can be challenging at times overseas, so going to a familiar location where it is easy to swim in the lake, ride and run just makes preparation less stressful,” she said.

Having claimed her first IRONMAN 70.3 title on the Sunshine Coast in September, Clarke has her sights set on a first victory in Taupo to cap off a strong year of racing.

Like Berry, Clarke also heads into the race on Saturday knowing her place on the 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship start line is secure.

“It's great to already have my spot locked in for Taupo IRONMAN 70.3 Worlds, it means I can plan my season to perform well there, and it will be amazing to have a World Champs in New Zealand and have lots of family and friends supporting me. I've never raced an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship before so it will be really special to race my first at home and it will be a big focus for me next year,” said Clarke.

A host of young and talented Oceania triathletes, many coming from short course backgrounds, will be hoping to make their mark on IRONMAN 70.3 racing this Saturday, including Kiwis Angharad Llewellyn, Hannah Knighton, Deborah Fuller, Kiri Atkin, Samantha Kingsford and Heather Neil.

Amongst the women’s professional start list Sunshine-Coast based Dutch athlete Lotte Wilms, four Australians, Aleisha Wesley, Chloe Hartnett, Sophie Perry and Emily Donker, and Canadian Jenny Fletcher, will be hoping to spoil New Zealand’s party.

Wilms heads into IRONMAN 70.3 Taupo off the back of finishing third at last weekend’s GWM IRONMAN Western Australia and will be hoping the body recovers well in time to put together another strong performance on Saturday.

“The mind is very good, I always love to be on an IRONMAN podium. The body of course worked hard last weekend, but I have a great recovery nutrition plan and had some ice baths, spas and massages that helps to get the body recover quicker than normal,” said Wilms.

“I’m really fortunate that I already have my qualification slot for Taupo 2024 and don’t have to worry about that. 

Aleisha Wesley made her IRONMAN 70.3 debut in Melbourne last month after focusing on short course racing for most of her career to date, with the 24-year-old impressing on her way to a fifth place finish.

“I have been really motivated to build on my performance since my IRONMAN 70.3 debut last month,” said Wesley. “I hadn’t planned on racing an IRONMAN 70.3 until much later on in my triathlon career, but I started lacking a bit of motivation in short course racing this season, so I felt like I needed a change and wanted to set myself a different goal to strive towards.

The Perth-based triathlete says she is excited to race in Taupo and test herself against some of the more seasoned professionals. Mainly though, she has her eyes on a 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship slot – there are two available in both the women’s and men’s professional races.

“I am most excited to be racing and making myself suffer again but my eyes are now set on qualifying for the World Champs next year after my debut IRONMAN 70.3. I’ve had the fun, now it’s time to get serious,” said Wesley.

FEMALE PRO:
 31 – Hannah Berry (New Zealand)
 32 – Rebecca Clarke (New Zealand)
 33 – Lotte Wilms (Netherlands)
 34 – Aleisha Wesley (Australia)
 35 – Chloe Hartnett (Australia)
 36 – Sophie Perry (Australia)
 37 – Emily Donker (Australia)
 38 – Angharad Llewellyn (New Zealand)
 39 – Hannah Knighton (New Zealand)
 40 – Jenny Fletcher (Canada)
 41 – Deborah Fuller (New Zealand)
 42 – Kiri Atkin (New Zealand)
 43 – Samantha Kingsford (New Zealand)
 44 – Heather Neil (New Zealand)

IRONMAN Triathlon


Coming Triathlon Events View all

Challenge Israman

Eilat, Israel

Website Google Map YouTube

Strongman

Miyakojima, Okinawa, Japan

Website Google Map

Challenge Taiwan

Taitung City, Taiwan, China

Website Google Map YouTube

FrenchMan

Carcans, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Himalayan Xtreme

Pokhara, Nepal

Website Google Map YouTube

Grizzlyman Xtri

Beskydy, Czech Republic

Website Google Map

Mediterranean Epic

Oropesa del Mar, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Tradeinn International

Platja d’Aro, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

AlpsMan

Annecy, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Pirene Xtreme

Cellers, Lleida, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman New Zealand

Taupo, New Zealand

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman African Championship

Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Texas

The Woodlands, Texas, United States

Website Google Map

Ironman Australia

Port Macquarie, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Lanzarote

Canary Islands, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Florianopolis

Florianopolis, Brazil

Website Google Map

Ironman Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Philippines

Subic Bay, Philippines

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman France

Nice, France

Website Google Map YouTube

Ironman Austria

Klagenfurt, Austria

Website Google Map YouTube

Husky Long Course

Huskisson, NSW, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Coles Bay Half

Coles Bay, TAS, Australia

Website Google Map

Challenge Malaysia

Forest City, Johor, Malaysia

Website Google Map

Challenge Puerto Varas

Puerto Varas, Chile

Website Google Map

Ayia Napa Triathlon

Ayia Napa, Cyprus

Website Google Map

Hell of the West

Goondiwindi, QLD, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

Alpha Win Ocala

Ocala, FL, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

Alpha Win Napa Valley

Napa Valley, CA, United States

Website Google Map YouTube

Tri Tour Deltebre

Deltebre, Spain

Website Google Map YouTube

Setubal Triathlon

Setubal, Portugal

Website Google Map

70.3 Panama

Panama City, Panama

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 New Zealand

Taupo, New Zealand

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Punta del Este

Maldonado, Uruguay

Website Google Map

70.3 Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Website Google Map

70.3 Geelong

Geelong, Australia

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Oceanside

Oceanside, California, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 Texas

Galveston Island, Texas, United States

Website Google Map

70.3 San Juan

San Juan, Argentina

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico

Website Google Map YouTube

70.3 Florianopolis

Florianopolis, Brazil

Website Google Map

Triathlon News & Media Blogs View all

T100 Tri Tour Adds Escape from Alcatraz to Schedule

T100 Tri Tour Adds Escape from Alcatraz to Schedule

Monday 19 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

The Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) and World Triathlon are pleased to announce that the California leg of its new T100 Triathlon World Tour will take place in San Francisco at the iconic Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on 8-9 June, in a partnership with IMG. Known as the San Francisco T100, the 100km race (2km swim, 80km bike, 18km run) will be set in the stunning San Francisco Bay area more

Els Visser, Kyle Smith Win CHALLENGE Wanaka NZL

Els Visser, Kyle Smith Win CHALLENGE Wanaka NZL

Saturday 17 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

Two convincing victories were earned today at Challenge Wanaka by Kyle Smith (NZL) and Els Visser (NED) as they took the first Challenge Family titles of 2024. Smith led from the start with a lead that never looked under threat, taking the win in 3:53:08 while Visser showed her domination on the bike, giving her a comfortable lead into the testing Wanaka run, crossing the line in 4:34:46. more

Pro Athlete Line Up for Challenge Wanaka NZL

Pro Athlete Line Up for Challenge Wanaka NZL

Friday 16 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

Reigning champions Jack Moody (NZL) and Grace Thek (AUS) are set to defend their titles at the highly anticipated 2024 Integrity Homes Challenge Wanaka, showcasing an impressive lineup for the pro race on Saturday 17 February which will also feature latest anti-drafting technology, Race Ranger. Since turning professional in 2018, Grace Thek from Australia has achieved remarkable success, podiuming in 20 out of 36 middle-distance races. In 2023, she secured three victories. more

IRONMAN announced 70.3 Canada Penticton

IRONMAN announced 70.3 Canada Penticton

Wednesday 14 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

IRONMAN announced today the return of the IRONMAN® 70.3® Canada triathlon which will be added in Penticton, British Columbia, providing additional racing in 2024. The IRONMAN 70.3 Canada half-distance race, which first took place from 2016-2019 in Whistler, British Columbia, is scheduled to return on Sunday, Aug. 25 in conjunction with the full-distance IRONMAN Canada triathlon. more

Sodaro & Thompson Claim Victory At 70.3 Tasmania

Sodaro & Thompson Claim Victory At 70.3 Tasmania

Sunday 04 Feb 2024 [Triathlon News]

Nick Thompson and Chelsea Sodaro have claimed victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Tasmania on a wet and wild day in Hobart. Thompson claimed his second IRONMAN 70.3 victory on Sunday, while for Sodaro it was her first win since taking out the 2022 VinFast IRONMAN World Championship. Thompson crossed the line in 3:54:10, almost four minutes ahead of Mitch Kibby, with hometown hero Cameron Wurf rounding out the podium. more

Facebook


YouTube


Sign up for FREE NEWSLETTER:

We will never share your email address or spam you.