I'm not entirely sure where the brief spell of sunshine went but it has clearly triggered a early season 'rush' towards pool-based triathlon events. That's 'rush' as in 'of blood to the head' - the majority of folk are still regarding the water as far too wet to be bothering with it yet!

That's not the case with the professionals though as they get to head off to sunnier climes to ply their trade: this weekend sees Ironman action at Melbourne and ITU Wold Cup action in New Plymouth. The Ironman event is still a relatively new one, it first took place in 2012, but its status as the Asia Pacific Championships with a P4000 tariff (and a $125,000 prize pot) ensures that the field is stacked. Unlike the statistics machine that normally fills the Editor's chair I find that race prediction is about as reliable for me as betting on the Cheltenham Gold Cup and any race which has the top three seeded pros as Marino Vanhoenacker, Craig Alexander and Luke Mckenzie is going to be even harder to call. Suffice to say it should be a great race and the women's field headed by Caroline Steffen, Mary Beth Ellis and Rebekah Keat will be entertaining too. GB interest is added by Daniel Halksworth, Paul Ambrose, Paul Amey and Phil Graves.

After last week's performance at Mooloolaba there's the interesting prospect of seeing Javier Gomez and Mario Mola in the same event this weekend at the New Plymouth World Cup. I suspect that the outcome there is entirely predictable... British interest is represented by Adam Bowden, Matthew Sharp, Grant Sheldon and Thomas Bishop for the men while the women's field is headed by Jodie Stimpson with Vicky Holland, Lucy Hall, Natalie Milne, Lois Rosindale and the welcome return of Helen Jenkins after a year out with injury.

Those aren't the only GB elite in action this weekend; a former ITU World Champion at both short and long course and Ironman World Champion at both 70.3 and full Ironman distance in 2012, Leanda Cave is the only Briton to have picked up a Commonwealth Games medal (Silver in 2002 at Manchester) and she's starting her campaign to be included in the Welsh squad for Glasgow at the ITU La Paz PATCO Pan American Cup race on Saturday.

Saturday is nearly as busy as Sunday with the headline duathlon at Clumber Park having World Championship slots for both standard and sprint races plus races at Bath and The Mumbles in Wales. There's the start of two days of racing at the Wee Triathlon in Scotland plus the Black Country Triathletes have their Junior Aquathlon in Wombourne.

Two more triathlon events for Sunday: the legendary Dyfi Dash and the Llangefni Tristar event are both in Wales. F3 are taking over Dorney Lake again for another of the Maxifuel Winter Duathlon Series while Portsmouth Triathletes have their annual duathlon events at the Goodwood Circuit. There's more racing at Dartington, Hole Park, Dinton Pastures near Reading, the Oxfordshire Spring Forward Duathlon (a week early...), the Peaky Freaky Duathlon Challenge, the Stokesley Duathlon, a new Spring incarnation of the Thruxton Mass Attack Duathlon and the Sika Off Road Duathlon on the Purbecks.

Still a few aquathlons in the mix with races at Carlisle and Glasgow while the triathlon running brigade with London places will probably be at the Whole Foods Market Kingston Breakfast Run.


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