Ironman Australia Celebrates 30 Years This Weekend

The 2015 Ironman Australia triathlon will celebrate its 30th anniversary and several past champions will be making the start.

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The 2015 Ironman Australia triathlon will celebrate its 30th anniversary this Sunday and several past champions will be making the start to mark the occasion.

Australia’s Pete Jacobs (2011) will take on compatriots Paul Ambrose (2012) and Luke Bell (2013) over the challenging Port Macquarie course.

The women’s race will feature 2012 champion Michelle Gailey (AUS), last year’s runner-up Lisa Marangon (AUS), Melanie Burke (NZL) and Michelle Bremer (NZL).

Men’s Preview
Jacobs has fond memories of Ironman Australia, racing his first Ironman as an age grouper there, and then claiming the 2011 title before going onto win the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii the following year.

“Winning here meant one of my biggest dreams came true, racing in Forster as an age grouper in my first Ironman created that dream, along with the dream of winning Hawaii,” Jacobs said in a press release. “My roots are deep in Ironman Australia, and I’m very happy and humbled to be part of the 30th year, not just as a competitor, but also as a small part of its history.”

For Bell, Ironman Australia is where he made his debut as a professional, and it’s where he claimed his first title some 10 years later.

“To be able to win Ironman Australia is something that I am very proud of. To win the event in your home country where my own Ironman journey started is something that is extremely hard to put into words,” Bell explained.

Jacobs, Bell and Ambrose will be challenged by fellow Australian Peter Robertson and Czechoslovakian Ironman veteran Petr Vabrousek.

Women’s Preview
In the women’s race, Gailey is focused on adding the 30th anniversary Ironman Australia title to her 2012 win.

“It’s really exciting to be lining up in the 30th edition of Ironman Australia. When I first started triathlon in 2007 this was an event I had my eye on with so many high level professionals kicking off their careers at Ironman Australia,” Gailey said. “I have now completed nine Ironmans and this will be my 10th. Port Macquarie is one of my favourite courses to race, it is tough, honest and the atmosphere is amazing.”

Her biggest threat seems to be Lisa Marangon, who from the moment she made her debut at Ironman Australia in 2003 has dreamt of claiming the title.

“I remember seeing Lisa Bentley win that year and I said I want to be her one day,” she said. “I just need to execute the race plan my coach sets me. Deal with anything that is not expected and to race to my ability and beyond.”

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Ironman Australia Professional Start List

1. Pete Jacobs (AUS)
2. Paul Ambrose (AUS)
3. Luke Bell (AUS)
4. Peter Robertson (AUS)
5. Nick Baldwin (SYC)
6. Petr Vabrousek (CZE)
7. Matt Burton (AUS)
8. Graham O’Grady (NZL)
9. Carl Read (NZL)
10. Josef Svoboda (CZE)
11. Daniel Brown (AUS)
12. Simon Bileau (FRA)
13. Brian Fuller (AUS)
14. Darren Jenkins (AUS)
15. Lachlan Kerin (AUS)
16. Luke Martin (AUS)
17. Dan McGuigan (AUS)
18. Matt Randall (NZL)

21. Lisa Marangon (AUS)
22. Melanie Burke (NZL)
23. Michelle Bremer (NZL)
24. Michelle Gailey (AUS)
25. Jessica Fleming (AUS)
26. Michelle Wu (AUS)
27. Michelle Duffield (AUS)
28. Christie Sym (AUS)
29. Caroline Gregory (USA)
30. Marie Sorrell (NZL)
31. Marina Jurjevic (AUS)

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