Coming up: No racing for Blatchord, Challenge Iceland and lots of Ironman action

Sad news for Liz Blatchford heads up our weekend preview. On the race front, the inaugural Challenge event in Iceland features a stellar field. Ryf, Potts and Jackson aim to validate their Kona starts in October, while other pros attempt to solidify their standings in the Kona Points Ranking for the July qualifiers at Ironman events in Switzerland, Lake Placid and Whistler.

| July 22, 2016 | NEWS

Daniela Ryf

Photo >Nils Flieshardt / spomedis

Blatchford Out of Kona

Australian Ironman standout Liz Blatchford announced on her Facebook page that she was en route to her home in Australia, “which unfortunately means no Kona.” The BMC-Etixx Pro Triathlon Team member currently sits in seventh in the Kona Points Ranking, however a foot injury has hampered Blatchford’s 2016 race season and prevented her from validating her start at the Ironman World Championship this fall. Blatchford finished third in Kona in 2015, tenth in 2014 and third in her Kona debut in 2013 and would have been favored to be a podium contender in October. 

With Blatchford out and Rachel Joyce expecting the birth of her first child, the second and third place women from 2015 Ironman world championships will be absent in this year's showdown.  

Event: Challenge Iceland

Location: Iceland

When: Saturday, July 23

Distances: Swim: 1.9 km, Bike: 90 km, Run: 21 km

Prize Purse: 19,000 Euros

Stunning Race Venue for Challenge Iceland

The inaugural Challenge Iceland situated in the stunning “Bay of Whales”, is the world‘s northernmost half-distance race. It starts at Hvalfjordur Bay just 30 minutes outside the capital city of Reykjavik. Tim Don, Kevin Collington and Brad Kahlefeldt headline the men’s race while Heather Wurtele, Jodie Swallow, Radka Vodickova and Tine Deckers should put on a competitive show in the women’s race. 

Event: Ironman Switzerland

Location: Zurich Switzerland

When: Sunday, July 24

Distances: Swim: 3.8 km, Bike: 180 km, Run:42 km

Prize Purse: $50,000

Ryf and Schildknecht Looking for Wins at Home

Ironman and Ironman 70.3 world champion Daniela Ryf is a late addition to the women’s field just one week after her superb victory at Challenge Roth. Ryf is competing with the primary goal of validating her start in Kona, so we’re unlikely to see her go full throttle in her home country.

The Swiss Miss says, “Race practice is good for me. I see it as a challenge to face a week after the Challenge Roth. If I can do it, that will make me stronger for Kona.”

Ariane Monticeli, Kristin Moeller, Natascha Badmann, Nicole Woysch and Lauren Parker highlight the remainder of the women’s field.

In the men’s race Ronnie Schildknecht will be shooting for his ninth Ironman Switzerland win on his home turf and will have to take on David Plese, Timo Bracht, Igor Amorelli and Jan Van Berkel.

Check out the Pro Start List

Event: Ironman Canada – Men’s Pro Race

Location: Whistler, BC Canada

When: Sunday, July 24

Distances: Swim: 3.8 km, Bike: 180 km, Run:42 km

Prize Purse: $50,000

Potts Man to Beat in Whistler

Andy Potts comes into the race as the the man to beat on the west coast of Canada. Potts will have to face the 2014 Ironman Ironman Canada champion Trevor Wurtele as well as Maik Twelsiek and Justin Daerr.

Event: Ironman Lake Placid – Women’s Pro Race

Location: Lake Placid, NY USA

When: Sunday, July 24

Distances: Swim: 2.4 miles, Bike: 112 miles, Run: 26 miles

Prize Purse: $50,000

Can Anyone Stop Jackson in New York

A light field has Heather Jackson as the odds-on-favorite in this pro women’s only race at Ironman Lake Placid. Alicia Kaye, Amber Ferreira and Beth Shutt should provide plenty of competition for Jackson.


Event: Ironman 70.3 Calgary

Location: Calgary, AB Canada

When: Sunday, July 24

Distances: Swim: 1.9 km, Bike: 90 km, Run:21 km

Prize Purse: $15,000


Looking Like a Shoot-out in Western Canada

Canadian Jeff Symonds takes on Josh Amberger, Paul Mathews, Jarrod Shemaker and Matt Lieto in Western Canada this weekend. We should see Linsey Corbin, Jeanni Seymour, Jen Spieldenner, Liz Lyles and Cait Snow fight it out at the front of the race throughout race day.