Javier Gomez and Ben Hoffman are set to compete for one of the world’s biggest triathlon prize purses at this weekend’s Island House Invitational Triathlon.
The three-race format that takes place over three days on the island of Highbourne Cay in the Bahamas will pit them against a limited field of the world’s best short-course and long-course triathletes. A 300-meter swim, 7-kilometer bike, and 2-kilometer run individual time trial on the first day, a draft-legal Olympic Enduro on the second day, and non-drafting sprint distance race on the final day will decide which among them can take home the lion’s share of the $500,000 combined purse.
Five-time ITU world champion Gomez says, “I’m honored to be one of the 10 male athletes invited. It’s going to be a very high-level race in an amazing place and I can’t wait to live the experience. It’s going to be the last race of the year and even though it has been a long one, I’m looking forward to finish this season the best way possible.”
Hoffman has raced in the Bahamas previously, but looks forward to the new venue. He says, “This is easily one of my favorite trips of the year, and with the unique race format, big prize purse, world-class field, and stunning venue, it’s going to be an instant classic. With the fitness from racing last weekend in Maui, I will look to take chances and race hard over all three days on Highbourne Cay!”
Coming off the Olympic-distance Noosa Triathlon, Caroline Steffen will once again shift gears to middle distance at Ironman 70.3 Mandurah. Luke Bell and Terenzo Bozzone will also step onto the starting line.
Steffen ran into second place last year with a great run. She says, “Mandurah is such a great spot to race and a spectacular course too. It’s a unique swim in the canal and the run course is just super-fast.”
This will be Bozzone’s first race back since his third place finish at Ironman 70.3 Sunshine Coast. The 2013 champion says, “This weekend’s race at Ironman 70.3 Mandurah will be a good gauge to see where my body is at leading into the Ironman 70.3 Bahrain on 5 December and then to finish the year off at Nutri-Grain Ironman 70.3 Taupo. My body and mind are fit and healthy and I am looking forward to closing out the 2015 season with some solid racing.”
After severe dehydration ended his day in Kona, Bell wants to wrap up the year with good racing in the Asia-Pacific region. He says, “Mandurah is always a fast race and will be good to go at it with Terenzo and a few of the European boys out for the summer. Last year we rolled around under the course record chasing Michael Raelert before his big Challenge Bahrain win.”
Sam Appleton rounds out the Bahrain Endurance athletes racing this weekend, toeing the line at Ironman 70.3 Austin. He will be on the hunt to add to his 70.3 titles this year after taking Cairns by storm in June.