The Bahrain Endurance 13 are heading into their penultimate races of the year culminating in the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship next week. The warrior princess Caroline Steffen hopes to extend her winning streak over the half distance at Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney. Power couple James Cunnama and Jodie Swallow tackle the hot and humid Challenge Laguna Phuket, joined by Bahrain Endurance Racing Team member Domenico Passuello, who is making his comeback after a long bout with injury.
Steffen says, “Missing out on a few races early in the year makes it easier for me to keep racing until December this year. Time to wrap up this season with Western Sydney and Bahrain. My form should be the same from Mandurah two weeks ago.” She has set up another rematch with Annabel Luxford, who she has already gone head-to-head with twice this year, both times coming out on top.
Cunnama and Swallow are no strangers to Thailand, having trained and prepared for race wins in its heat and humidity. Cunnama says, “I have trained in Thailand many times, but never actually raced there. Remembering all the routes I trained on during my training camp in Thanyapura earlier this year, I am looking forward to racing on a scenic and hard course at Challenge Phuket. I’ve also heard the atmosphere around this race is excellent, so I’m looking forward to finishing 2015 on a high note.”
Swallow notes, “Thailand and I have an up-and-down relationship: I have spent a lot of time here injured, but conversely it is where I prepped for my 70.3 world title win. I guess the weekend will confirm whether I really love it or really don’t! I have no expectations coming into the race but I have some decent start of season sessions under my belt. I focus rather on Bahrain 70.3 the following weekend, where conditions should suit me better. That said, racing is what I love and can’t wait for these opportunity hit outs to end the year.”
All four are looking forward to landing in Bahrain next week. Cunnama says, “After a year of support under the Bahrain Endurance 13 Team, I am looking forward to going to the Kingdom of Bahrain for my final race of 2015 and using it as an opportunity to thank all the people who helped make the team a success this year. Racing on the island will certainly be fast and hard, but I expect nothing less and am looking forward to the race.”
Steffen agrees. She says, “It’s good to go back and race Bahrain; it’s a very unique course. Small field, but super fast, that’s for sure.”