Ironman 70.3 Calgary takes place Sunday July 29, 2012 and is the final opportunity for pro triathletes to earn Kona Ranking Points before the final selection takes place this month for the Ironman Triathlon World Championships set to take place in the Fall of 2012.
The deadline is nearing for the initial qualification process.
There will be additional spots up for grabs in the coming months, however winning a spot now will enable eligible pros to prepare for Kona with the knowledge that they already have a spot secured.
The importance of this race can not be under-stated and is the reason why several tops pro have made the trip to Calgary.
Along with 500 pro Ranking Points there will also be prize money of $15,000 available to be won.
Chris Legh of Australia has made the trip and comes off a win in Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens 2012 just two weeks ago, so he is in top form and may be hard to beat.
However Canadian Jeff Symonds finished third in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships 2011 and will have the home crowd behind him. Much depends on if he is completely recovered from injury issues that plagued him early in the 2012 race season.
The main competition may come from Tom Lowe who is in a good spot to win a place in Kona 2012, but would love to add some Ranking Points to ensure he retains his position without having to fight it out later in the season for the ten remaining wildcard spots that will still be available after the July qualification process is completed.
This is a very deep field as Jasin Shortis, Rasmus Henning, and Ollier Whistler are also in the race.
Chris Legh Joseph Lampe Ollie Whistler Grant Burwash Jeffrey Symonds Derek Garcia Brendan Halpin Lewis Elliot Kodo Hiramatsu Shanon Stallard Jim Lubinski Tom Lowe Olly Piggin Rich Allen Jason Shortis Damon Barnett Trev Williams Rasmus Henning
Australian Rebekah Keat looks to be the one to beat for the pro women on the strength of her past record. She has six Ironman titles to her credit and wins in 23 Ironman 70.3 triathlons over the course of her career.
However past records are not always a guaranteed win as often the Ironman asks the question “what have you done for me lately?”
Heather Jackson and Magali Tisseyre will no doubt have a say in how the race for top spot unfolds for the pro women.
Melanie McQuaid has won the Xterra World Championships three time and is a seasoned competitor so certainly has the ability to top the podium on her best effort.
Best of luck to Janelle Morrison who is retuning to the pro ranks after a life-threatening automobile accident almost two years ago. Janelle recently won the Desert Half in Osoyoos, British Columbia to begin her come-back to racing on a positive note.
Fellow Canadian Sara Gross is another pro who has been fighting health issues and is running out of time to secure a spot in the World Championships in Kona. Expect an all-out effort from Sarah.
Magali Tisseyre Rebekah Keat Melanie McQuaid Danelle Kabush Sara Gross Lisa Mensink Monica Dalidowicz Haley Cooper-Scott Heather Jackson Mackenzie Madison Janelle Morrison Heather Leiggi