Heather Jackson, Ben Hoffman Lead U.S. Elite Contingent into IRONMAN World Championship

By USA Triathlon | Oct. 12, 2017, 11:43 p.m. (ET)

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — The 41st edition of the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, is set for this Saturday, Oct. 14, with more than 2,400 athletes from 66 countries registered to compete.

The IRONMAN World Championship will reach its largest viewing audience in history as NBC Sports airs extended coverage and Red Bull TV joins the coverage team for the first time. Fans in the U.S. can view the race on NBCSports.com, and international viewers can follow the action at RedBull.TV/Ironman. Both U.S. and international viewers can also tune in to IRONMAN.com for a hosted live show, athlete tracker and live blog. 

Coverage will begin at approximately 12:30 p.m. ET on all platforms. For full coverage details, visit IRONMAN.com.

Both age-group and elite competitors will cover a 2.4-mile swim through Kailua Bay, a grueling 112-mile bike exposed to trade winds around the Big Island, and a hot and humid 26.2-mile run that ends in one of the sport’s most iconic finishing chutes. The elite women’s field features nine athletes from the U.S., while the elite men’s field features seven. 

Defending women’s champion Daniela Ryf of Switzerland returns to Kona in hopes of defending her title. Missing from the field will be last year’s runner-up Mirinda Carfrae of Australia, who gave birth to her first child in August.

Heather Jackson (Bend, Ore.) last year became the first U.S. woman to reach the IRONMAN World Championship podium since 2006, earning bronze with a time of 9 hours, 11 minutes, 32 seconds. This season, Jackson has collected wins at IRONMAN 70.3 races in Lima, Peru; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Calgary, Canada; and Benton Harbor, Michigan (Steelhead), and finished second to Great Britain’s Rachel Joyce at IRONMAN Boulder.

Sarah Piampiano (San Rafael, Calif.), the second U.S. woman across the line last year in seventh, also returns to the start list. Piampiano’s season highlights include a win at IRONMAN 70.3 Qujing in China and silvers at IRONMAN 70.3 Peru, IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa and the IRONMAN Asia Pacific Championship in Cairns, Australia.

Linsey Corbin (Missoula, Mont.) and Liz Lyles (Reno, Nev.) toe the line in Kona with IRONMAN victories under their belts this season, breaking the tape at IRONMAN Canada and IRONMAN Chattanooga respectively.

Also competing for the U.S. in the women’s race are Lauren Brandon (Dallas, Texas), Haley Chura (Bozeman, Mont.), Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.), Jocelyn McCauley (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jodie Robertson (Melville, N.Y.). Click here to view the complete women’s start list.

At the top of the start list for the men’s race are the Germans who swept the top-three in 2016: defending champion Jan Frodeno, runner-up Sebastian Keinle and third-place finisher Patrick Lange.    

Ben Hoffman (Boulder, Colo.) was the top U.S. finisher last year in fourth with a time of 8:13:00. Hoffman has had a strong season that includes a sub-8-hour finish at the IRONMAN African Championship in South Africa (7:58:40). Hoffman’s accolades in 2017 also include a third-place finish at IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder and a runner-up spot at IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Cruz. 

Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.) is also a top contender in the men’s field after placing sixth in Kona last year. O’Donnell comes to the Big Island with momentum on his side, having finished on the podium in his last five races. In addition to his commanding win at IRONMAN Boulder in June, in which he finished more than 20 minutes ahead of his closest competitor, O’Donnell also took second at IRONMAN 70.3 races in Taitung, Taiwan, and Galveston, Texas, and third at IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa.

Matt Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa) has also had an impressive season, winning the IRONMAN North American Championship in The Woodlands, Texas, in April in a course record 7:52:44, and earning another victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene in June.

Also representing the U.S. in the men’s elite field are Patrick Evoe (Boulder, Colo.), Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Matthew Russell (Sarasota, Fla.) and Jesse Thomas (Bend, Ore.). Click here to view the complete men’s start list.

The U.S. is the most represented nation in Kona this weekend, with 741 athletes registered to compete. The U.S. age-groupers hail from 48 states, led by California (113), Texas (58), Colorado (53), Hawaii (50) and New York (49). U.S. athletes range in age from 20 to 78, while the youngest athlete in the entire field is 19 and the oldest is 83. Click here for the full age-group participant list.

For complete event information for the 2017 IRONMAN World Championship, visit IRONMAN.com.

2017 IRONMAN World Championship
2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run

Competitors — U.S. Elite Men

Patrick Evoe (Boulder, Colo.)
Matt Hanson (Storm Lake, Iowa)
Ben Hoffman (Boulder, Colo.)
Tim O’Donnell (Boulder, Colo.)
Andy Potts (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Matthew Russell (Sarasota, Fla.)
Jesse Thomas (Bend, Ore.)

Competitors — U.S. Elite Women

Lauren Brandon (Dallas, Texas)
Haley Chura (Bozeman, Mont.)
Linsey Corbin (Missoula, Mont.)
Heather Jackson (Bend, Ore.)
Alicia Kaye (Clermont, Fla.)
Liz Lyles (Reno, Nev.)
Jocelyn McCauley (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Sarah Piampiano (San Rafael, Calif.)
Jodie Robertson (Melville, N.Y.). 

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).