Ben Hoffman is set to defend his Ironman African Championship crown in Port Elizabeth this weekend in a highly competitive field that includes past champions and podium finishers.
The American first won the South Africa race in 2016 and successfully defended the title last year. Should he win again, he will be the first man to win three consecutive times and only the second man to win the title thrice since Raynard Tissink accomplished the feat in 2011.
Hoffman says, “My expectations are to leave everything on course and execute my best day, no matter the competition or conditions.”
Having raced the Cape Epic multi-day mountain bike race a few weeks ago for the Ironman Foundation, Hoffman has had a challenging lead-up into the Ironman. “Recovery from the Epic has been a little bit of a rollercoaster, with some initial fatigue and lingering stomach issues, and a couple of small niggles. Overall I think I gained some valuable racing experience and toughness from the event.”
Alistair Brownlee returns to racing after his Commonwealth Games campaign last week at Ironman 70.3 Liuzhou.
Brownlee says, “After some fast and furious racing on the Gold Coast, I’m looking forward to racing over the middle distance in Liuzhou. I’m swimming and riding as well as I ever have, but we’ll have to see how my running legs hold up over 21km.”