REV3 Branson, being only weeks after a world championship, has gathered a strong, dynamic field. Branson has hosted a triathlon in the past, but this is the first year it is part of the REV3 series.
All eyes will be on the return of Richie Cunningham. Cunningham suffered a bike crash in early July and is anxious to return to the race course. He has a strong field to contend with, as Kevin Collington, David Thompson, Eric Limkemann and Leon Griffin are listed to start. Ben Hoffman is also starting, and has race course experience as he has raced here before.
Limkemann leads the REV3 Series standings and will be a balanced race approach to this type of field.
“It’s nice to be back to the 1/2 distance for Branson, “ Limkemann said. . “I need to do my job early in the swim/bike to create a gap on the solid runners. A bunch of guys in the field have had some great results lately and Richie is coming back hungry after his crash, so there will be plenty of motivation to keep the gap small. My goal is to ride the motivation out of the field by the time we hit the run.”,” Limkemann said.
Different from the last few REV3 olympic distance races is that strong front swim pack is missing. Look for Kyle Leto, Collington and Limkemann to be near the front of the swim and accelerate the beginning of the bike. Lake Table Rock cool temperatures should allow for a wetsuit swim.
The race should come together in the later stages of the bike, as Griffin, Cunningham and Thompson will most likely be chasing from behind onto the bike after the swim.
“I’m excited to be lining up in Branson this weekend for the Rev3 Half,” Griffin said. “. The win at Old Orchard Beach has given me a spring in my step and I went on to record a top 10 at last weekends Ironman 70.3 World Champs in Vegas, so I know my form is good and I’m looking to carry that form over to Rev3 Branson and push for another wWin this weekend, Griffin said.”
The bike is a closed-road bike course along scenic highways with breathtaking mountain views. The challenging course features many technical ascents and descents. This course definitely favors the strong, skilled cyclist.
The run course is a flat two-loops, and and is flat and includes a combination of walking paths and roads. If any athlete has some speed left in the their legs after the bike, this could be a chance to gain some time. Collington, known for his closing run speed, could be a factor on the second half of the run if he is in contact with 10 km to go.
“I’m happy with my results at HyVee and 70.3 Worlds and I think my fitness is pretty good right now. ,” Collington said. “With two weeks of rest since Vegas I’m confident I’ll be ready to go in Branson. I’m excited to get back into the Rev3 series,” Collington said.”
In the women’s race, Rachel McBride, Radka Vodičková and Jessica Jones highlight the field. Look for Olympic distance athlete Jennifer Spieldenner to be near the front out of the water. Jones has won on this course in the past and has a well-rounded bike-run.
“Branson and I have a love/hate relationship,” Jones said. “The first year I did it, my chain broke. The next year I won it. This is hands down one of my favorite courses to race on. I’m looking forward to this Rev3 event, and best of all my kids will be here to cheer.”
Rebeccah Wassner is rested and ready for Branson. Wassner has posted some fast bike splits this year and will be looking to get out front on the bike. While a few of the women raced earlier this month, both of these ladies were able to do some solid training.
The series is being led by Lauren Goss, who is not racing in Branson. With Vodičková in 2nd, and Williamson in 3rd in the series, there is the potential for Radka to get close to Goss after a solid race in Branson.
The Branson weekend offers a variety of events for everyone, with a 5km & I mile GlowRun and an Olympic Rev.
No race can happen without dedicated volunteers. “Our races can only happen because of the volunteers who give their time to help us make every event a success,” says Eric Opdyke, Rev3 Race Director. Interested volunteers should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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