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Kona Spots On The Line At Ironman Texas This Saturday

In addition to the total $150,000 prize purse, professionals will be competing for highly-coveted Kona Pro Ranking (KPR) points

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Professionals from around the world will travel to The Woodlands, Texas to compete in this Saturday’s Ironman North American Championship Texas.

In addition to the total $150,000 prize purse ($30,000 will go to each winner), professionals will be competing for highly-coveted Kona Pro Ranking (KPR) points. As a regional championship, this is the highest point-earning opportunity (along with other regional championships) outside of the Ironman World Championship itself. While doing well will give an athlete a big jump up the KPR rankings, each male and female winner will get a guaranteed spot on the Kona start line and have the luxury of no longer stressing about his/her ranking.

Wearing No. 1 for the men is last year’s winner (and course record holder) Matt Hanson, and he’ll be joined by previous Ironman Texas winners Eneko Llanos (2011) and Jordan Rapp (2012). Also making the start are 2015 Challenge Roth champion Nils Frommhold, 2008 Ironman 70.3 world champion Terenzo Bozzone and recent Ironman 70.3 New Orleans winner Andrew Starykowicz. 2015 Ironman Asia-Pacific champion Jeff Symonds is on the start list, but suffered a radial head compression fracture in his elbow just over a week ago and is questionable to compete. Other top names who could contend for the win include Chris McDonald, Justin Daerr, Michael Weiss, Jozsef Major, Clemente Alonso‐McKernan and Richie Cunningham.

With 2015 champ Angela Naeth recovering from off-season foot surgery and infection that followed, there will be a new female champion on Saturday. Though she’s never competed at the distance, Alicia Kaye has to be considered a contender to take the title. The American is a former short-course star who is strong across the three disciplines and hopes to compete in Kona for the first time this October. American Kelly Williamson, the 2014 winner of Ironman Texas, is one to watch as she consistently races well in her home state of Texas. Other podium contenders include Julia Gajer, Bree Wee, Rebekah Keat and Emma Kate-Lidbury.

Nearly 3,000 age-group athletes are expected to compete at this year’s North American Championship. The race will offer 75 age-group qualifying slots to the 2016 Ironman World Championship. All athletes will compete on a modified 94-mile bike course as a result of both some political drama and the flooding that hit the Houston area a few weeks ago.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2015 Ironman Texas

See the complete pro start list below.

1 Matt Hanson (USA)
2 Jordan Rapp (USA)
3 Eneko Llanos (ESP)
4 Terenzo Bozzone (NZL)
5 Justin Daerr (USA)
6 Nils Frommhold (GER)
7 Matt Russell (USA)
8 Andrew Starykowicz (USA)
9 Chris McDonald (USA)
10 Michael Weiss (AUT)
11 Swen Sundberg (GER)
12 Jozsef Major (HUN)
13 Jeff Symonds (CAN)
14 Callum Millward (NZL)
15 Kirill Kotsegarov (EST)
16 Richie Cunningham (AUS)
17 Balazs Csoke (HUN)
18 Clemente Alonso‐McKernan (ESP)
19 Pedro Gomes (PRT)
20 Mike Schifferle (SUI)
21 Mauro Baertsch (SUI)
22 AJ Baucco (USA)
23 Barrett Brandon (USA)
25 Antony Costes (FRA)
26 Matthew Curbeau (USA)
27 Andres Darricau (ARG)
28 Trevor Delsaut (FRA)
29 Marc Duelsen (GER)
30 Jonathan Fecik (USA)
32 Raymond Botelho (USA)
33 Aaron Gray (USA)
34 Samuel Huerzeler (SUI)
35 Patrick Jaberg (SUI)
36 Jeremy Jurkiewicz (FRA)
37 Stephen Kilshaw (CAN)
39 Jaroslav Kovacic (SVN)
40 Patrick Lange (GER)
42 Eric Limkemann (USA)
43 Doug MacLean (USA)
44 Matic Modic (SVN)
45 Scott Neyedli (GBR)
46 Michael Ruenz (GER)
47 Patrick Schuster (USA)
48 Francisco Serrano (MEX)
49 Jonathan Shearon (USA)
50 Denis Sketako (SVN)
51 Gudmund Snilsveit (NOR)
52 Josh Terwoord (USA)
53 Harry Wiltshire (GBR)

61 Kelly Williamson (USA)
62 Julia Gajer (GER)
63 Rebekah Keat (AUS)
65 Emma‐Kate Lidbury (GBR)
67 Bree Wee (USA)
68 Alicia Kaye (USA)
69 Lisa Roberts (USA)
70 Jen Annett (CAN)
71 Liz Baugher (USA)
72 Katy Blakemore (USA)
73 Lauren Brandon (USA)
74 Terry Casey (USA)
75 Saleta Castro Nogueira (ESP)
76 Christine Fletcher (CAN)
77 Christine Hammond (USA)
78 Kirsty Jahn (CAN)
79 Rachel Jastrebsky (USA)
80 Amy Javens (USA)
81 Jessica Jones Meyers (USA)
82 Corrie Kristick (USA)
83 Angela Kuehnlein (GER)
84 Heather Leiggi (USA)
86 Caroline Martineau (CAN)
87 Jocelyn McCauley (USA)
88 Carrie McCoy (USA)
89 Kathy Rakel (USA)
90 Darbi Roberts (USA)
91 Jodie Robertson (USA)