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Yet how to watch Sebastian Kienle, Mirinda Carfrae, Tim Don, Rachel Joyce et al? The good news is that there will be a live video stream on the event website, with two-time Kona winner Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack on commentating duties.
But that’s not all! We’re also hosting a liveblog on the 220 website, where deputy editor Liz (who’s already out in Bahrain) will deliver lots of course-side insight and debate from 7am local time (4am UK time). Plus there will be the usual real-time updates on our Twitter feed.
The official race schedule for Saturday 6th December runs as follows:
5:00am – Transition opens
7:30am – Start Challenge Bahrain 2014
7:30am – Pro Men
7:35am – Pro Women
8:05am – AG 50 years and older, all sub-4:40 athletes
8:15am – AG Women
8:25am – AG 18-34 Men
8:35am – AG 35-49 Men
8:45am – Relay
Approx 11:00am – Finish of the male race winner Challenge Bahrain
Approx 11:30am – Finish of female race winner – Challenge Bahrain
Nearly 100 professional athletes will be lining up on Saturday, including both current Ironman world champions Sebastian Kienle and Mirinda Carfrae, and various Olympians and Commonwealth champs.
There are three British men on the start line (Tim Don, Ritchie Nicholls and Fraser Cartmell) and three British women (Rachel Joyce, Jodie Swallow, and Jodie Stimpson on her middle-distance debut). The full pro start list can be found here.
There will also be more than 1,000 age-groupers racing next Saturday, with the course involving a fast flat point-to-point course that takes in a 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21km run, all spread out over a point-to-point course that passes both ancient Mesopotamian sites and high-tech landmarks, and finishes at the F1 motor circuit (maps here).
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Who do you think will triumph in Bahrain? Let us know in the comments below!