After some late withdrawals, as far as I can ascertain, Karen Smith will be Bermuda’s sole AGE GROUP representative this Saturday 9th September at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, having qualified earlier in the year in Puerto Rico. Karen will compete in the 45-49 age group.
Karen will be hoping to emulate her performance at the 2014 full Ironman World Championships at which she won her age group, a amazing accomplishment given the quality of the field at this event.
This will be the 4th time that Karen has raced at the 70.3 World Championships, with her best finish being 2nd in her age group in 2008 in Clearwater, Florida where she finished in a very quick 4 hrs 32 mins over a fast course. Karen raced again in Las Vegas in 2012 but in 104 degree temperatures she had bad leg cramps and was way down the field. Her last 70.3 Worlds was at Mt. Tremblant in 2014 where she finished 8th , although her main focus that season was Ironman Worlds and this race was in preparation for Kona.
More than 3,000 athletes from around the world (who qualified at another Ironman 70.3 event) will compete at this prestigious race. More than 130,000 athletes participate in a season of qualifying races for the championship, a series which consists of over 85 events in locations such as Australia, Germany, South Africa and Switzerland. Participants in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship will range in age from 18 to 75 plus, and will represent over 70 countries.
The Ironman 70.3 World Championship was created in 2006 and held in Clearwater, Florida until 2011. It then moved to Henderson, Nevada, where athletes were treated to a much more challenging course. In 2014, the event took place in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec—its first stop on the new global rotation for the championship. The event headed to Europe for the first time in 2015, where Zell am See, Austria, hosted . In 2016, Australia’s beautiful Sunshine Coast hosted the event.