Things are heating up in Mexico as some of the world’s best triathletes gather on the beautiful island of Cozumel for the inaugural Ironman 70.3 on Sunday September 23. The tropical island is no stranger to triathlon having played host to an Ironman race since 2009. This race replaces the old Ironman 70.3 Cancun event and with big points and money on offer the start list is packed with top names.
In the men’s race Andi Boecherer from Germany, who won the Ironman 70.3 Cancun event in 2011 and was eighth in Hawaii last year, returns to Mexico to defend his title. He’s in great shape and looks to be one of the favourites. James Cunnama from South Africa has made the trip, and after winning Challenge Roth this summer where he broke eight hours, will be a threat, especially with his speedy run. Josh Amberger from Australia is on the start list and proved he’s on form after he finished seventh at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas two weeks ago, as is fellow countryman Richie Cunningham who finished 10th. Other top names include Leon Griffin, Luke McKenzie and Paul Ambrose all from Australia, Oscar Galindez from Argentina and Michael Lovato from the USA, who won the Ironman here in 2011.
The women’s event is equally stacked and once again promises some great race action. Former Ironman 70.3 World Champion Jodie Swallow from the UK came to the island after Vegas to prepare for Sunday’s race and is ready to go. Also from the UK is Emma-Kate Lidbury, who is looking to put her mechanical issues at the recent 70.3 World Championships behind her. Liz Blatchford, also from the UK, comes into the race another favourite. Other big names include Carrie Lester from Australia, Bree Wee from the USA and Yvonne Van Vlerken from Holland. Van Vlerken, who knows the island well and races well in the hot and humid conditions, won the Ironman here in 2010. Melody Anngel Ramirez will be representing Mexico and is sure to put on a good show for the home crowd.