Armstrong to Race in Galveston Half Ironman

By Ironman

Armstrong to Race in GalvestonCycling star Lance Armstrong (pictured racing at Ironman 70.3 Panama) will be racing an Ironman event again this weekend as he takes on a stacked field at the Ironman 70.3 U.S. Professional Championship on history Galveston Island along the Texas Gulf Coast. Fresh off a solid win at Ironman 70.3 San Juan, Kelly Williamson will take on a competitive women’s field.
Armstrong had an impressive runner-up finish in Panama last month as he tries to qualify for the Ironman World Championship in Kona in October. The seven-time Tour de France champion was only passed by Olympic silver medalist Bevan Docherty in the last mile and a half of the run in Panama. Armstrong had trailed Chris Lieto (the defending champion in Galveston who is reportedly not racing on Sunday) at the start of the run, but took the lead shortly after the first mile and almost held on for the win.

Sunday’s race in Galveston promises to be even more competitive than Panama, though. The men’s pro list includes numerous Ironman 70.3 and Ironman champions, including two-time Ironman 70.3 world champion Michael Raelert. Another late entry is Marino Vanhoenacker, a six-time champion at Ironman Austria who recently won the shortened racae (to 70.3 distance) at Ironman New Zealand. American Timothy O’Donnell, who won Ironman 70.3 San Juan a couple of weeks ago, will also be on hand. Five-time Ironman Switzerland champion Ronnie Schildknecht, who became the first man to break eight-hours for a full distance race in on American soil in winning Ironman Florida last year, is also in the field. Other Ironman champions racing include Paul Amey, Bryan Rhodes and Jozsef Major. One 70.3 champ to note will be Sebastian Kienle, who has managed to best Michael Raelert a couple of times over the distance.

While defending women’s champion Catriona Morrison isn’t back for this weekend’s race, the women’s field is also impressive. In addition to the fast-running Williamson there’s an abundance of Ironman and 70.3 champions in the field. Last year’s third place finisher in Kona, Leanda Cave, went on to win Ironman Arizona to finish out the 2011 season in style and is likely to be keen to get back to racing after having to pull out of the Abu Dhabi International event a few weeks ago due to sickness. Two-time Ironman Cozumel champion Yvonne Van Vlerken has a runner-up Kona finish on her resume to go along with numerous 70.3 wins. Other Ironman champions in the field include Caitlin Snow, Amy Marsh, Nina Kraft and Heather Wurtele.

As the Ironman 70.3 U.S. Professional Championship, Sunday’s race offers a $75,000 prize purse, which includes a $5,000 bonus for the first U.S. professional male and female finishers. The race is also one of only four Ironman 70.3 Championship events worldwide that carries a P-1,500 point allocation, which means it will serve as an important event for qualification for both the Ironman and the Ironman 70.3 world championships.

The race is set at Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa and Convention Center and includes a 1.2 mile swim in Offats Bayou followed by a flat, but typically very windy 56-mile out-and-back bike course and a three-loop 13.1 mile run.

Age group athletes will follow the same course as part of Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas.

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About swimbikerun1
Devoted Father, Husband and Employee.Endurance sports fanatic (running,cycling,swimming).Triathlon athlete and coach.If only days had more than 24 hours.

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