This weekend’s racing sees a crucial fight for men’s Kona slots at IM Copenhagen as time runs out to make it to the Big Island this October. Meanwhile, the women are in action at 70.3 Timberman, which makes a return to the calendar for the first time since 2016.
Ironman Copenhagen 2021 Race Preview
With a male-only field and two Kona spots on the line, IM Copenhagen has a long list of starters topped by Collins Cup Team Internationals #1 athlete Lionel Sanders.
Date: 22 August
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Start Time: 05:00 UTC
Prize Money: $50,000 – pays 10 deep $15,000 to $1,000
Course: Ocean swim, rolling bike, rolling run
Top-ranked Athletes (Non-IM Frankfurt racers)
Lionel Sanders (PTO #2) / Jesper Svensson (PTO #58) / Yvan Jarrige (PTO #77)
Lionel Sanders is the standout athlete racing in Copenhagen, the Canadian stopping in Denmark on the way to the Collins Cup with the aim of securing his trip to Hawaii. His last attempt to grab a slot at IM Coeur d’Alene was blighted by gastro issues, though he seemed stronger in that department at the Tri Battle Royale. But with championship season getting underway, this is probably his last shot for 2021.
Of the athletes signed up for Copenhagen who didn’t race last weekend at IM Frankfurt, Jesper Svensson is the top ranked. One of the many DNFs at IM Tulsa in May, his last iron-distance result was eighth in Florida in 2019.
Next up is France’s Yvan Jarrige an all-rounder to took third at IM 70.3 Les Sables in July. Also keep a lookout for Britain’s Elliot Smales (PTO #82), who will be looking to go a couple of steps higher than his fourth place at IMUK to clinch a Kona spot.
Of the athletes on the start list who raced in Frankfurt but didn’t get a ticket to Hawaii, Maurice Clavel (PTO #47), David Plese (PTO #70) and Marcus Herbst (PTO #75) are the highest ranked. But whether they’ll be backing up just a week after an iron-distance effort is a long shot.
Ironman 70.3 Timberman
A strong field of women are set to race at Timberman 70.3, which makes a welcome return to the circuit five years since its last running, albeit in a new venue.
Date: 22 August 2021
Location: Laconia, New Hampshire, USA
Time: 10:50 UTC
Prize Money: Prize Money: $25,000 – pays 8 deep $7,500 to $1,000
Course: Lake swim, rolling bike, rolling run
Jeanni Metzler (PTO #11) / Heather Jackson (PTO #14) / Linsey Corbin (PTO #29)
Jeanni Metzler tops the list, the South African super-runner getting in a tune-up race before heading to the Collins Cup as a key player on Team Internationals.
Heather Jackson is likely to be the biggest test for Metzler. The US star will be looking to banish the memories of a tough marathon at IM Lake Placid with a strong performance before championship races get underway.
Linsey Corbin will be sharpening her speed here after coming third at IM Coeur d’Alene in June. Expect to see her come through stronger and stronger as the race progresses.
Sarah Piampiano-Lord (PTO #39) came back from maternity leave with a creditable eighth place at 70.3 Boulder a couple of weeks ago. She’s back in action at Timberman this weekend in her bid to return to the top.
Lisa Becharas (PTO #59) is having a solid season so far with three top-10 performances on the US 70.3 circuit. A strong swimmer and biker, Becharas will need a big run to duke it out with the best on two legs at Timberman.
Speaking of the best running legs on the start list, former Canadian track and field star Tamara Jewett (PTO #65) is one to watch. Winner of the 2020 Canadian Pro Championships, Jewett came fifth at 70.3 Boulder with the day’s fastest run split – a fleet-footed 1:16:50. If she continues to improve her swim and bike, she’ll be a real contender – watch this space for Collins Cup 2022!
Finally, three-time Kona winner – and defending Timberman champ from 2016 – Mirinda Carfrae will be making her return to racing seven months after giving birth. We’re unlikely to see her jump right back into a dominant position, but Timberman will be a good tester to see how close she is to her pocket rocket best.