Ben Hoffman takes on Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz this weekend in his final build toward the Ironman World Championship.

With an automatic qualification to Kona thanks to his win at the Ironman African Championship, the American has been able to focus on his training. He says, “I have been hard at work and this will serve me perfectly as a small rest and dose of speed before finishing the final work into Kona.”

The Santa Cruz race in its second year as an Ironman 70.3 event is hosting its first professional competition in an experimental format which will feature only male pro athletes. Hoffman is excited to race in a 40-strong field. “With this being the first pro version of the event, there isn’t a lot of history for reference but it means the winner will be the new course record holder,” says the 2014 Kona runner-up. “I will use this as an important indicator of any weakness, and look to get the best out of myself no matter what.”