Ironman 70.3 world champ Holly Lawrence returns to racing this weekend at Ironman 70.3 Des Moines and will wear the highest women’s number, but she’ll have her work cut out for her as she takes on a strong field. The 2016 70.3 worlds champ struggled with an asthma attack in her last race, the Ironman 70.3 North American Championship in St. George, but soldiered through the race to eventually take sixth.
Lawrence (GBR) plans on competing in Des Moines, then will head to Elsinore, Denmark to try to defend her Ironman 70.3 European Championship title, where she’ll have the unenviable task of trying to beat Daniela Ryf, the winner in St. George and the woman who beat Lawrence to the top of the podium at the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.
While she won’t have to face Ryf in Iowa this weekend, Lawrence will be facing a stacked field that includes the woman who took second in St. George, South Africa’s Jeanni Metzler, Ironman 70.3 Florida champion Emma Pallant-Brown (GBR), and Americans Jackie Hering and Lesley Smith. Great Britain’s Fenella Langridge, second to Lawrence in Elsinore in 2019, is also in the field.
American Rudy Von Berg will also be making the Des Moines/ Elsinore double as he looks to take a third 70.3 European title in a row. Taking the win this weekend will not be an easy feat – some of the men he’ll be facing include Canadian Jackson Laundry, Australia’s Joe Gambles, Mexican Xterra world champ Mauricio Mendez Cruz and fellow American Eric Lagerstrom. While the field in Iowa will be strong, Von Berg will be taking on an even stronger field in Denmark where local heroes Magnus Ditlev and Daniel Baekkegard will no-doubt be gearing up for a big day in front of the Danish fans.
First things first, though – we’ll be keeping an eye on all the action from Des Moines this weekend.