Last month we reported that Lionel Sanders was looking for the coffee machine that Jan Frodeno had promised him, but was willing to forgo that if the German would come to the United States and compete at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside. Now that Ironman has released the official start list for the race, we can see that Sanders is one of the 60 pro men in the field, but Frodeno is not. In addition to that large pro men’s race, there are 40 pro women on the start list. It’s not unusual, though, for athletes to add their name to a few Ironman or 70.3 start lists and then not show up, so it’s not completely certain that all the athletes on the list will end up on the start line.
Both the men’s and women’s races in Oceanside promise to be incredibly competitive. In addition to Sanders, the men’s list includes defending men’s champion Ben Kanute, his countryman Sam Long, who is fresh off a couple of victories at Clash Miami and Challenge Puerto Varas (which could mean he’ll take a pass on Oceanside), two-time Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee (GBR), Australian Sam Appleton, along with Americans Rudolph Von Berg and Matt Hanson (USA). (To name just a few – there are a number of Ironman and 70.3 champions in the field.)
You can see the full pro list here.
The women’s field is every bit as stacked. Defending champion Paula Findlay (CAN) is back, but she’ll face a really tough field that includes five-time 70.3 world champion (and four-time Kona champ) Daniela Ryf, 2016 70.3 world champ Holly Lawrence (GBR), Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle, who is fresh off a big win at Clash Miami and American Taylor Knibb, who excelled at both World Triathlon and long-distance races last year – her incredible season included a silver medal in the mixed relay, the fastest time of the day at the Collins Cup and a bronze medal at the 70.3 worlds.
As we get closer to the race, which takes place on April 2, we should have a clearer idea of who will actually end up at the race – even if a few athletes pull out, though, it should be an incredibly competitive day.