Race Preview: Ironman 70.3 Sunny Coast

Ironman 70.3 Sunny Coast

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Beth Gerdes

How nice is it to settle down in one spot for more than a few weeks? You can establish a routine, get rest (unless you are putting furniture together!) and not worry about packing right??

It’s been really great to settle down in one place for a couple of months and Noosa is ideal for training on so many levels. Everything you need is right out the door and there are so many other like-minded people around that training becomes second-nature and automatic. 

A lot of the racers on both the men’s and women’s side this weekend are getting ready for Kona. Do you think this will have much impact on the race? People might have so big miles in their legs but I reckon everyone is pretty fit!

Both the men’s and women’s fields at Sunshine Coast 70.3 are pretty strong. We have 25 men and 24 women lining up according to the latest start list we were sent today. It should be an interesting race. A lot of the big hitters, especially on the women’s side, are training for Kona: Caroline Steffen, Annabel Luxford, and Britta Martin. I’ve been training with both Caroline and Britta and even though we seem to all be plowing through this race in a Kona haze, I would not discount either of them- they are both hitting some really good form and it will be exciting to be a part of. Many people don’t know Britta, but she won two Ironmans last year and went sub-9. She’s quiet but mightly! Annabel is obviously one to watch as well as even though she is training for Kona, she is just flat out fast at 70.3 distance. I’m also keeping my eye on Rebekah Keat, Rebecca Preston, Sarah Crowley, Radka Vodickova, Julia Grant and Kym Coogan. This will be a race where it will be tough to crack the top 10 but should be very exciting! Personally, I’m in really good shape, but I’m also quite tired. We’ve been “training as usual” until today (Wednesday) and will do a quick freshen up for the next 3 days before the race. I’m excited to race, but Kona is clearly my “A” goal right now. 

On the men’s side, there are recent drop outs from Tim Reed, Sam Appleton (I think he was on the start list before but maybe check on that, he is no longer on the list), and Craig Alexander. In my eyes, that leaves Tim Van Berkel, Terrenzo Bozzone and the Lukes (Bell & McKenzie) as my favorites to podium. Josh Amberger and Clayton Fettel should show strong swim/bike combos, but we will see if the rest of the boys can hold them off on the run. 

Forgive my naivete, but it will be relatively warm for the race correct? I know it is winter down there but I assume racing conditions will be pleasant.

As for the weather, it will be chilly in the morning that’s for sure. We expect a wetsuit legal swim and then will likely be shivering a bit the first hour or so on the bike. This morning at 7am I wore a headband, gloves and long sleeves on the bike and realized we will be in for a bit of a shock on race morning, but it should warm up quickly. 
The bike course is on a local highway that is not very technical and only small rollers so it should be pretty fast. The run is 2 loops along the Mooloolaba shore, with one kicker hill you will go over 4 times to make it interesting.

Radka VRadka Vodickova

How did you feel about your race at Worlds? Your swim was awesome! Are you still getting your racing legs under you after surgery earlier this year?

I was very disappointed with my result at Worlds. All my training went very good and I felt I am back in shape after the surgery.
I felt great during the swim, 2nd out of the water, a perfect start of the race. Unfortunately this was it for the day. I had no power in my legs to hold pace with other girls. Usually I would at least have a good run, but this time also my running was not good, just trying to survive the heat and cramps and just finish the race.

A lot of your competitors this weekend are getting ready for Kona. Do you think it will be an interesting mix of some fatigue from long training and really good fitness?

I raced Sunny Coast last year and I know Caroline Steffen is using this race as a last hit out before Kona. She is always in a very good shape. I think also Bella (Annabel Luxford) will do this race as a part of her Kona preparation. It is good timing as they still will have time to recover before the BIG race.

Will you be heading to Kona for spectating and sherpa duties with Brad?

Of course! I am counting days when we finally fly to Hawaii! We both have never been to Kona, and we love seeing new places.
I will do my best to help and support Brad for this BIG race!

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The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Episode 7 features previews with various Ironman and 70.3 races across the world, Pacific Grove Triathlon and a quick hit about Kona.

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About the Authors

Zach Miller
Zach Miller is a sports enthusiast and age group triathlete living in the The Woodlands, TX. He is the Host of The Triathlon Preview Show. Follow @trifantasy The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast
Emily is a professional triathlete and swim coach living in Napa, CA. Emily swam for the University of Michigan and completed her first tri in 2004 at the Chicago Triathlon. She worked for seven years as a paralegal, followed by three years as an Assistant Swim Coach for the University of Illinois-Chicago. Presently, she lives and trains in Napa, California while working for the Napa Valley Swim Team and coaching several age group triathletes.

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