Start times and how to follow Sam Long’s bid for victory at IRONMAN 70.3 Pucón

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This is a preview of the race – click here to read about emphatic victories for Sam Long and Marta Sanchez.

IRONMAN 70.3 Pucón will kick off the season this weekend in South America, as a strong professional field head down to central Chile’s Lake District for a first opportunity to qualify for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in 2024.

The race, which has been a staple of the early season calendar for the last decade, has previously been won by the likes of Olympic medalist Javier Gomez, middle distance star Lionel Sanders and Chilean legend Barbara Riveros.

In our preview piece below, you can find all the details you need to know about this weekend’s event, including start times, tracking information and a rundown of the top names in the elite fields.

Start times and how to follow

The racing this weekend takes place on Sunday January 7. On Sunday, the elite men will get things underway, with the gun going off at 08:00 local time. This corresponds to 11:00 in the UK, 12:00 in Central Europe and 03:00 on the West Coast.

The elite women will start five minutes after the elite men in Chile, with their race kicking off at 08:05 local time. This corresponds to 11:05 in the UK, 12:05 in Central Europe and 03:05 on the West Coast.

Unfortunately, there will be no live stream of the action in Pucón. However, all the action can be followed live via the IRONMAN Athlete Tracker App, which allows you to follow your favourite athletes or friends in real time.

Elite Men

In the men’s race, PTO World #9 Sam Long leads the lineup with the American star returning to happy hunting grounds, having previously won Challenge Puerto Varas in Chile, as he looks to get his season off to a strong start.

[Photo credit: Jacob Kupferman / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

After finishing third behind compatriot Marc Dubrick and Norwegian Casper Stornes last month at IRONMAN 70.3 Indian Wells, which also marked his 30th professional career podium, Long is the heavy favourite ahead of this weekend’s event.

Amongst his main challengers in Chile will be Luciano Taccone, who finished as the runner-up to Gomez here in 2022. The Argentinian, who also finished on the podium in 2017, has raced Long four times but never beaten him.

Home favourite Martin Ulloa is another who like Taccone has previously finished on the podium in Pucón, with the 29 year old picking up second behind Spaniard Antonio Benito Lopez this time last year.

Both Taccone and Ulloa are quality athletes, but like Canadian Olympian Matthew Sharpe have never beaten Long over the middle distance, meaning the trio will likely be competing for the remaining spots on the podium if Long is at his usual level.

Elite Women

In the women’s field, PTO World #52 Riveros will be chasing a seventh IRONMAN 70.3 Pucón title when she lines up on the banks of Lake Villarica in front of a home crowd on Sunday.

Having only finished off the top spot once in her seven appearances at the event, the three-time Olympian will once again be the firm favourite for the win this weekend.

Alongside Riveros, athletes such as Pamella Oliveira will also be vying for a spot on the podium and a ticket to the 2024 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in New Zealand, with two slots to Taupō up for grabs.

Having not raced Riveros since she switched from short course to long distance triathlon, Brazilian Oliveira will hope to use her strong swim to her advantage, as she seeks to upset the home favourite for what would be a memorable win in Chile.

In addition to Riveros and Oliveira , American Brittany Higgins will hope to follow up her third place performance here last year with another podium, as the 39 year old chases a third professional top-three finish.

Prize Money: What’s on the line?

The prize purse on offer this weekend is $25,000 – with the winners collecting a $4,000 share of that total.

In addition to money, there will be a total of four qualifying slots for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, with two for the women and two for the men in Taupo next year. 

The total funds will be paid six-deep, as follows:








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