The Ironman 70.3 Shepparton preview 2012 features returning champion Leon Griffin who will be trying to best a top field of pros who are expected to be on hand for the second edition of the race.
The year may be winding down, but the Kona Ranking Points that are up for grabs in Shepparton, Victoria are just as important as those earned in the Spring and Summer of 2013 to those pros who have their sights set on the 2013 World Championships in the Fall.
Age-group athletes will also be trying to win a qualifying spot for entry into the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
Griffin will have to be on top of his game if he hopes to repeat as Shepparton champion. Although he will most likely be the top favorite going into the race, expect a strong challenge from the likes of Terenzo Bozzone and several others who are quite capable of challenging for the top spot on the podium.
The Shepparton course has a reputation of being very fast and that was pretty much confirmed when Griffin won the 2011 inaugural race in an excellent time of 3:51:27.
He took over the race out on the bike course and never looked back and posted a bike split of 2:09:45 followed by a blistering 21.1k run split of 1:15:01
TOP FIVE PRO MEN 2011
1) Leon Griffin (Kangaroo Flat, Victoria) – 3:51:27 2) Ollie Whistler (Lord Howe Island, NSW) – 4:01:33 3) Monty Frankish (Melbourne, Victoria) – 4:03:13 4) Luke Whitmore (Montmorency, Victoria) – 4:04:40 5) Matt Bailey (Melbourne, Victoria) – 4:04:49
PRO MEN FOR 2012-tentative
Leon Griffin Monty Frankish Luke Whitmore Matt Bailey Jason Shortis Lindsey Wall Ben Allen Terenzo Bozzone Brett Carter Mike Gee Luke Gillmer Nicholas Hull Todd Israel Joseph Lampe Casey Munro Will O'Connor John Polson Tim Reed Alex Reithmeier Ollie Whistler Matty White Marc Widmer
Samantha Warriner won for the pro women in 2011, but so far is not registered for 2012 and it appears she will not be on hand to defend her title. However 2011 second and third place finishers Lisa Marangon and Nicole Ward are scheduled to race.
Lisa Marangon fell just a little short of winning in 2011 and will be trying to top the podium on November 18, 2012.
Look out for Rebekah Keat who will most likely make her presence felt before the race is over.
TOP FIVE PRO WOMEN 2011
1) Samantha Warriner (New Zealand) – 4:25:25 2) Lisa Marangon (Vaucluse, NSW) – 4:27:56 3) Nicole Ward (Freshwater, NSW) – 4:35:22 4) Suzanne Blackborrow (Belmont, Victoria) – 4:36:16 5) Elly Franks (South Yarra, Victoria) – 4:36:57
PRO WOMEN FOR 2012-tentative
Lisa Marangon Nicole Ward Anna Cleaver Sarah Crowley Elly Franks Julia Grant Kristy Hallett Rebekah Keat Wendy McAlpine Rachael Paxton Matilda Raynolds Jodie Scott Jacqueline Slack