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Shootout at the Tempe Corral: Here's what to expect at Ironman Arizona

Ironman Arizona preview, three key stretches to run well, and did Superleague Neom break barriers?

Good morning everyone!

In this edition we have a race preview of Ironman Arizona, three stretches to make you a healthier runner, and why the Superleague Grand Final was groundbreaking.

Thank you for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

ONE THING YOU SHOULD KNOW

Superleague Triathlon Breaks Barriers in Neom Debut

What is it: Superleague Triathlon, a fast-paced, and action-packed global triathlon series recently hosted their Grand Final in Neom, Saudi Arabia. The new destination for Superleague was ultimately successful, but not without some controversy.

Why it matters?

Although Saudi Arabia continues to modernize, there are still stark differences for women with respect to dress, family life, and freedoms compared with those in the west. However, Superleague certainly made an effort to stand up and signal that they want to help build progress in the Kingdom.

  • In Neom, the female athletes had equal prize money, and equal television time as the men.

  • The female athletes also had the freedom to be in the community, and train without any restrictions on their clothing or movements.

  • History was also made, as Sachar Shagiv became the first Israeli athlete to compete in a sports event in Saudi Arabia.

Quick thought:

Although many of these aspects may seem minor, it is good to see Superleague making an effort to help create awareness of gender equality within Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom is beginning to modernize, and having more and more events like these where there are incremental changes will ultimately add up to something much larger. Hopefully we will continue to see Superleague grow its profile, and triathlon as a whole within the country.

  • Superleague has confirmed that Neom will continue to be a destination for it's race series.

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking or running? Fire this off to them. Did someone forward this to you? Join for free.

OFF TO THE RACES

🤠 Shootout at the Tempe Corral: Ironman Arizona Preview

What’s happening: A late-season clash at Ironman Arizona with championship-caliber fields. Will American Ben Kanute shock in his first Ironman? Is American Sarah True ready to win again?

The men's race

Analysis: No doubt there will be fireworks in the men’s race.

Sam Long (USA), Joe Skipper (GBR), Matt Hanson (USA), Chris Lieferman (USA), and Kristian Høgenhaug (DEN) are all Ironman-distance stalwarts, and should be fully amongst it on the fast course. Of course, with his Ironman distance debut, Ben Kanute will bring a whole new dimension to the event, especially coming off a recent second-place podium at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

  • Ben Kanute will take it to the field in the swim and will no doubt have significant lead out of the water.

  • Joe Skipper, Sam Long, and Kristian Høgenhaug are all exceptional bikers. If they exit the swim together there will be fireworks during the ride!

Sam Long penalty? After a controversial penalty at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, which derailed his hopes for the podium, there is no doubt Long will be out for blood in this race.

Key players: Sam Long, Joe Skipper, Ben Kanute, Kristian Høgenhaug, and Matt Hanson.

Prediction: Kanute will jump out to an early lead. But watch for Skipper and Long to work together to get to the head of the field. Long will best the rest.

The Women's race

Analysis:

The women’s race will feature American powerhouses Skye Moench and Sarah True. Veterans Melanie McQuaid CAN) and Lauren Brandon (USA) will be looking to shake up the field, while Japanese Olympian Ai Ueda will continue to make inroads into her long course career.

  • Watch for Lauren Brandon to use her swim prowess to take the race lead right from the start.

  • After a frustrating DNF at the Ironman World Championships, Sarah True will be out for vengeance.

  • Skye Moench has an impressive record with wins at Ironman Germany and Chattanooga, and a 6th place finish at the Ironman World Championships. Look for her to come back on the field in the latter part of the run.

Key players: Skye Moench, Sarah True, Melanie McQuaid, Lauren Brandon, and Ai Ueda.

Prediction: Skye and Sarah will duke it out over the marathon, with Skye ultimately coming out on top.

  • Start list

  • Race starts Sunday, November 20th at 6:40AM local time

  • Watch it live on Ironman Now or follow along with the Ironman Tracker

Other Races

THEY SAID

"Not sure what Ironman Arizona has in store for me, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and all the suffering that comes with it.”

  • Ben Kanute on his debut Ironman this weekend. [Instagram]

TRAINING THOUGHT

Stretch It Out For A Faster Run

Triathletes love to train, but with all that stress on the muscles the body needs some love as well. After cycling a ton, the quads and hip flexors are often very tight. This reduces range of motion while running, which can lead to slower times and even injury.

Here are three perfect stretches for triathletes to run fast and stay healthy 🔽

🦵 Rectus femoris 

🍑 Piriformis

🧘 Psoas

  • Definitely a top five muscle in the body! Psoas helps stabilize the entire lower body and is in heavy use while cycling and running. Give it some love!

FAVOURITES

😮 Breathe it in. See which two activities this runner combined to go viral. [NewsTalkZB]

💣 Knowledge bombs. An illuminating podcast featuring the sports physiologist of Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden. This may need a deeper dive at some point. [How They Train]

📉 Fad or cannon? With the Norwegian training model becoming the hottest trend of 2022, this article explores previous fads in the sport. [Triathlete]

COMMUNITY

Well, it snowed again here in Boulder. It is November, so I guess that comes with the territory. But it is a stark reminder of the fact that winter and the colder weather are upon us... Unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere 😎

  • Have any cold weather training tips? Send them our way!

And are you racing this weekend? We'd love to hear about how Send us through your photos or a race recap, and we will feature them in next Tuesday's edition!

QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot."

Michael Altshuler
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