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--More than 90 elite pros scheduled to compete in Kona on October 12; Craig Alexander (AUS) Looks to Reclaim Title in Possible Last Attempt--
--Race Day Live Stream Available at www.ironman.com--
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii, Oct. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2013 GoPro IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i-long considered the most iconic endurance event in the world-will once again bring together the very best male and female professional athletes in the world to compete in what will be the largest and most international edition of the race in its 35-year history.
Set for this Saturday, October 12, this year's World Championship welcomes a field of more than 2,000 athletes from all 50 U.S. states and 52 countries around the globe, including 53 male and 38 female professionals. Totaling 140.6-miles across Hawaii's Big Island, athletes will swim 2.4 miles in the Pacific Ocean, cycle 112 miles through the picturesque lava fields of Kailua-Kona and run 26.2 miles, with a scenic waterfront finish on Ali'I Drive.
31-year-old Pete Jacobs of Australia, the reigning IRONMAN World Champion, looks to continue his country's six-year dominance of the men's race to become the fifth male athlete to repeat as champion. Despite being an automatic qualifier, Jacobs further validated his Kona slot by winning the IRONMAN European Championship in Frankfurt in July, and most recently finished second at IRONMAN 70.3 Philippines in August.
Jacobs will be challenged by 40-year-old fellow countryman Craig Alexander, who is the 2008, 2009 and 2011 IRONMAN World Champion. After a 12th place finish in Kona last year, Alexander-who became the oldest men's winner in the history of the race in 2011-will attempt to take home his fourth world title in what could be his final attempt. After kicking off the 2013 season by taking third at the IRONMAN Asia-Pacific Championship in Melbourne, Alexander has picked up wins at IRONMAN 70.3 Hawaii, IRONMAN 70.3 Kansas and IRONMAN 70.3 Lake Stevens.
Last year's second place male finisher, Andreas Raelert, 37, of Germany, is another major contender in this year's World Championship, and is perhaps the most consistent athlete in the world over the past four years in Hawaii, finishing either second or third in all four races.
The female field in Kona welcomes a stacked roster of talent with last year's reigning champion Leanda Cave, 35, representing Great Britain, leading the pack. With a hamstring injury slowing her down for much of the summer, the Welsh veteran looks to regain the momentum from her 2012 season, when she won both the IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships and also earned titles at IRONMAN 70.3 Miami and the prestigious Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.
Cave will be challenged by 2012 runner-up Caroline Steffen, 35, representing Switzerland, who was bested by Cave in Kona last year with just two miles left on the run. Steffen, who has been one of the busiest athletes in the sport over the past three years, was dominant on the bike in Kona last year, finishing the trip to Hawi and back more than five minutes faster than Cave and third-place finisher Mirinda Carfrae.
Carfrae, 32, representing Australia, is the 2010 IRONMAN World Champion and is looking to become the first Aussie woman to win multiple Kona crowns. Blessed with the fastest running legs in the sport, Carfrae further validated her Kona slot with a runner-up finish at IRONMAN Florida last November.
Other top professional competitors include:
The 2013 GoPro IRONMAN World Championship can be viewed live exclusively on www.ironman.com. The comprehensive coverage will capture every aspect of the race and features an Athlete Tracker and live blog.
The iconic IRONMAN® Series of events is the largest participation sports platform in the world. Since the inception of the IRONMAN® brand in 1978, athletes have proven that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE® by crossing finish lines at the world's most challenging endurance races. Recognized for excellence through distinguished events, world-class athletes and quality products, IRONMAN has grown from a single race to a global sensation with more than 190 events across five unique brands: IRONMAN®, IRONMAN 70.3®, 5150™ Triathlon Series, Iron Girl® and IronKids®. For more information, visit www.ironman.com.
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