PORT MACQUARIE, Australia (October 2, 2014) - Reigning IRONMAN® 70.3 Port Macquarie champions, Australians Josh Amberger and Lisa Marangon, are both back to defend the titles they captured at last year’s IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie.
Set in stunning Port Macquarie, the home of IRONMAN Australia which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in May next year, IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie has attracted a stellar field for the 2014 edition of the race.
Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams, said she looks forward to welcoming competitors to Port Macquarie.
“It is fantastic to see last year’s IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie champions returning to defend their titles, which demonstrates the appeal of the event as well as the calibre of participants expected this year,” said Mrs Williams.
“The NSW Government is proud to have secured IRONMAN 70.3 for Port Macquarie in 2014 and 2015, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW. This event is a great addition to the region’s sporting calendar which also includes the prestigious IRONMAN Australia Port Macquarie held in May each year,” she said.
Amberger is yet to record a follow up IRONMAN 70.3 win since he stood atop the podium in Port Macquarie in 2013.
“I’m very excited to be defending my title. I've gone without a 70.3 victory since Port Macquarie last year, so the hunger is definitely there to win again,” said Amberger.
“Port Macquarie is a special place to race for me. I did my first IRONMAN 70.3 there in 2011, and won my first IRONMAN 70.3 on Australian soil in Port last year. These kinds of things always make a destination special to race at, but aside from that the area is beautiful and I love the support the event gets from the local community.”
A slew of world class IRONMAN 70.3 athletes will be doing their best to make sure Amberger doesn’t get the opportunity to go back to back.
At the front of the pack vying to take Amberger’s title will be Courtney Atkinson. Fresh off his last gasp win at last month’s IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Atkinson goes into the race as the red hot favourite. Fellow two time Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt will also be looking for a strong showing after his 4th place at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast.
Add in Leon Griffin who notched up a string of podiums during the North American IRONMAN 70.3 season, capped off with a win at IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman, and the men’s race looks set to be a super-fast race.
In the women’s race Marangon will have extra motivation to make sure she defends her 2013 title. Her father, who hasn’t seen her race since 2006 will be on the sidelines cheering her on.
“I love port Macquarie, it’s my home soil and offers a challenging bike course and spectator friendly run. My dad is coming to watch me and hasn't seen me race since 2006, so it's pretty special,” she said.
The biggest threat to Marangon’s title defence looks to be former ITU athlete, turned IRONMAN 70.3 specialist, Czech Radka Vodickova.
Vodickova has relied on a blistering run leg this season to notch up two IRONMAN 70.3 wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya and IRONMAN 70.3 St Croix, and hits IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie in ripping form after following up 6th at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Mont Tremblant Canada, with a 2nd at last month’s IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast.
Race day will also include over 1000 age group athletes chasing their own personal bests.
Race day is on Sunday, 19 October 2014.
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IRONMAN 70.3 Port Macquarie is supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.