The 15th edition of Ironman South Africa will play out in Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday. Voted the best run course of 2017, Port Elizabeth is ready to host the nearly 2000 athletes and over 6000 spectators.
Both defending champions, Kyle Buckingham and Lucy Charles, will line up to defend their titles. The other 50 professionals in the field will be aiming to make it difficult for them.
Joining the male and female defending champions will be East London’s 70.3 Ironman winner, Anna Watkinson.
Course record holder Ben Hoffman is also back, looking for his third win in the Friendly City. A new course has been set up to make their job a little harder.
“Another win would be ecstatic it would be amazing in front of my home crowd again with everyone supporting. It is a strong field but at the end of the day you just got to do your own race, play a few tactics and yeah I’ve been training on the course a lot so I know what to expect and I know what the conditions are going to roughly be like on Wednesday,” says defending champion, Kyle Buckingham.
Great Britain’s Lucy Charles will be looking to hold onto her title. 18% of the entire field is made up of women.
“I am super excited especially because it’s my first race as a professional. So racing between the pro’s I don’t know what to expect but of course. It’s not my first time here at Ironman so in the end it must all be the same, same distance, same plan,” says Debut Pro Athlete, Tessa Kortekaas.
The bike route has been changed to include a number of testing hills. The notorious Port Elizabeth wind will also be a factor on Sunday.