If you like to spend your weekend watching live triathlon, then you’ve got another bumper Saturday coming up.
You can start early with the Anfi Challenge Mogán-Gran Canaria, and then spend your afternoon and evening balancing both the Arena Games Triathlon Series London and the latest from the M-Dot umbrella, Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas.
The Woodlands course has delivered plenty of fast times and high quality winners over the years, and while the vast majority of the biggest names are focused on the IRONMAN World Championship in St George two weeks later, there’s still a decent prize purse and some quality athletes set to race this coming weekend.
Start time and how to watch live
IRONMAN Texas will take place on Saturday April 23, 2022.
Racing will start at 0625 local time (PRO Men), with the PRO Women five minutes later. That corresponds to 1225/1230 in the UK, 1325/1330 CET and 0725/0730 Eastern time. The broadcast coverage is due to start approx. 25 minutes before the gun goes for the Pro Men, at 0600 local time.
Texas is the second of 14 full-distance events from IRONMAN in 2022 to be broadcast live through their IRONMAN Now Facebook page and also available via Facebook Watch on smart TVs.
As always, the IRONMAN Tracker app on mobile devices is your essential addition if you want to check out the race data as it happens, alongside the broadcast and commentary.
The first name on the PRO Men start list is Ben Hoffman (USA) – which two weeks before the IRONMAN World Championship (for a former Kona podium finisher), is something that is particularly noteworthy. Ben is never shy of putting in the big miles, and has seven full distance wins on his record… but it seems like an unconventional approach, if peaking in St George is priority, given his track record of success. What it does say to me, is that’s Hoffman’s primary focus this year is on that return to Kona in October.
One man who will surely make a mark on this race is Magnus Ditlev (DEN), the PTO’s current #14, but also rated #1 cyclist. As far as I’m aware he has not raced over the full distance previously, but if he does start, it seems highly unlikely that he doesn’t find himself at the front of the race on two wheels at some point.
An athlete who does have (race winning) IRONMAN experience is Canadian Cody Bels. If he is clear of the COVID that caught up with him last month, and can find the rich vein of the form he showed from 2015-2019, he can be a podium contender. That last time he managed that, he won back at IRONMAN Mont Tremblant in 2019.
Throw in names including Anthony Costes (FRA), David Plese (SLO), Sam Laidlow (FRA), Jesper Svensson (SWE), Matt Russel (USA) Tyler Butterfield (BER) – with the usual disclaimer that we are never 100% sure who will start – and much like the PRO Women, the race feels pretty open. Like Hoffman, Laidlow, Russell (for who this is the norm!) and Butterfield are all set for a Texas / St George double.
The only thing we would confidently predict? Richard Varga (SVK) will be first out of the swim in his first IRONMAN start.
Wearing #1 in Texas is Jocelyn McCauley (USA) who raced in Texas every year from 2015 to 2019 inclusive. Highlight of that period was a second place in 2019, a race in which she really pushed Daniela Ryf to the limit, the separated pair by less than two minutes at the finish.
McCauley returned to racing in 2021 after the birth of her second child, finished second at the IRONMAN European Championship in Finland, raced for Team USA at the Collins Cup and ended the year with fourth place at IRONMAN Florida.
Switzerland’s Joanna Writer squeezed in four IRONMAN races in the second half of 2021, finishing 3rd (Lake Placid), by three consecutive fourth place finishes (Switzerland, Austria, Cozumel). With her slowest marathon time across those races being a 3:01, she is one to look out for running herself towards a potential podium position late in the race.
Lauren Brandon (USA) will surely lead the way solo through the opening 3.8km swim, and with a strong bike too, she could well maintain that position for several hours – and looking at what appears to be a very open Pro Women’s field, will believe that she can contend all day.
You can click here for the full start list for IRONMAN Texas 2022
Prize Money: What’s on the line?
IRONMAN Texas offers competing Pro athletes a total prize purse of $100,000.
Race winners will earn $15,000 each, with the event paying the top ten athletes.
In addition to money, there will be a total of four qualifying slots (two MPRO / two FPRO) for the 2022 IRONMAN World Championship in Hawaii.
The total funds will be paid 10-deep, as follows:
Of course, thanks to the formation of the Professional Triathletes Organisation, financial rewards from performance are not only from on-the-day performances.
The PTO World Rankings will see a total of $2million awarded at the end of 2022, based up on the final standings in those points tables. The rewards there can be substantial, with a move up or down the rankings system potentially earning you more than any individual event.