Weekend racing: August 20 and 21

Three Ironman events this weekend end the 2016 qualifying cycle that will see the final 10 men and 7 women pros awarded starting slots to the Ironman World Championship, while two unique Challenge series events are also on tap for the weekend.

| August 19, 2016 | NEWS

Andreas Raelert seen here at Cannes International Triathlon looking to validate his Kona start at Ironman Copenhagen this weekend. | Germany\'s Andreas Raelert seen here at Cannes International Triathlon will be looking to validate his Kona start at Ironman Copenhagen this weekend.

Germany's Andreas Raelert seen here at Cannes International Triathlon will be looking to validate his Kona start at Ironman Copenhagen this weekend.

Photo >José Luis Hourcade

Event: IRONMAN Copenhagen

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
When: Sunday, Aug 21
Distances: Swim: 3.8 km, Bike: 180 km, Run: 42 km
Prize Purse: $75,000

This year Ironman Copenhagen will be a pro men’s race only and will see some tough competition. With the last weekend to accumulate points to go towards qualifying for Kona for the pros, a number of athletes will be laying it on the line to get one of the last 10 Kona spots available at the conclusion of the weekend. Andreas Raelert has enough points to qualify, but has to complete the race to validate his start in October in Kona. Igor Amorelli suffered a setback in the spring when he broke his arm and was left to scramble for points in the summer. The Brazilian came up with a win at Ironman Maastricht, but still needs to put in a solid day in Denmark to ensure he gets to Kona. Other men to watch will be the forever young Cam Brown, Harry Wiltshire, Will Clarke and Per Bittner.

Event: Ironman Sweden

Location: Kalmar, Sweden
When: Saturday, Aug 20
Distances: Swim: 3.8 km, Bike: 180 km, Run: 42 km
Prize Purse: $75,000

Sweden will feature a women’s pro-only race and a light field of seven are registered to battle it out for the win. Lucie Zelenkova, Kristin Moeller and Nicole Woysch come in as the favorites, however, with this small of field, anyone could slip into contention depending how the race unfolds. 

Lucie Zelenkova | Lucie Zelenkova comes in as one of the race favorites at Ironman Sweden.

Lucie Zelenkova comes in as one of the race favorites at Ironman Sweden.

Photo >Michael Rauschendorfer / triaphoto.com

Event: Ironman Mount-Tremblant

Location: Mount-Tremblant, Canada
When: Sunday, Aug 14
Distances: Swim: 3.8 km, Bike: 180 km, Run: 42 km
Prize Purse: $75,000

Ironman Mount-Tremblant is the final North American race where pro points go towards their qualification for the Ironman World Championship. There are a handful of athletes that could vault their way into a Kona start if they have a good day. Jordan Rapp is the defending champion and he is hoping to get solid race as much for his confidence as for his pocketbook. The American will face some tough competition from the likes of Romain Guillaume, Chris McDonald, Paul Ambrose, Callum Millward and Matt Russell.

On the women’s side, Mary Beth Ellis will be returning as the defending champion and should prove difficult to beat. The American is back training with Brett Sutton and has returned to her wining ways as a result. Amanda Stevens is on the start list, but she has been injured since Ironman 70.3 St. George (May) and hasn’t had a start since then. Other women to watch closely will be Carrie Lester, Uli Bromme and Laural Wassner.

Event: Ironman 70.3 Timberman

Location: Gilford, New Hampshire, USA
When: Sunday, Aug 14
Distances: Swim: 1.9 km, Bike: 90 km, Run: 21 km
Prize Purse: $50,000

Wow! Big fields and plenty of firepower are featured in both of the men’s and women’s races in New Hampshire. Andy Potts is cranking up his focus for Kona and it looks like he is ready to shake off the cobwebs from his win at Ironman Canada in late July. Tim O’Donnell,Tyler Butterfield, Taylor Reid and Leon Griffin are just a few who will be in the mix on Sunday

Three-time Ironman world champion Mirinda Carfrae will highlight the women’s race along with Heather Jackson, who races for the first time since her Ironman Lake Placid win. Jen Spieldenner seems to always be in the hunt at this distance and finally popped a win this season in Calgary. Magalia Tisseyre will start and has been nursing a bit of an injury, so it will be interesting to see how she fairs under fire.

Mirinda Carfrae rennt beim Ironman Austria 2016 zum überragenden Sieg | Mirinda Carfrae claiming the title to Ironman Austria earlier this summer will be starting Ironman 70.3 Timberman.

Mirinda Carfrae claiming the title to Ironman Austria earlier this summer will be starting Ironman 70.3 Timberman.

Photo >Getty Images for Ironman

Event: Challenge Samorin

Location: Samorin, Slovakia
When: Sunday, Aug 21
Distances: Swim: 1.9 km, Bike: 90 km, Run: 21 km
Prize Purse: $

Samorin is located in the western part of the Great Rye Island, close to the capital of Slovakia, Bratislava, with a population of 13,000. Despite its small size, Samorin has a rich history and cultural landmarks, with the first mention of the city dating back to 1238. Petr Vabrousek, Filip Ospaly, Karol Dzalaj, Kristina Nec-Lapinova and Nikola Corbova are scheduled to appear in Slovakia.

Event: Challenge Maceio

Location: Maceio, Brazil
When: Sunday, Aug 21
Distances: Swim: 1.9 km, Bike: 90 km, Run: 21 km
Prize Purse: $

The Challenge Maceió course starts with a 1.9 km loop of the swim in the clear waters of the Pajuçara Beach on the east shore in the central eastern state of Alagoas. The cycling portion of the race is made up of two 45-km loops that pass through Pontal da Barra, crossing a spectacular bridge that leads to the turnaround near Vegetation Protected Area of Santa Rita. Finally, the two-loop 21.1 km run along the ocean goes by the spectacular Pajuçara Beach heading towards the beach of Ponta Verde.