It was an exceptionally strong field of top-flight pro triathletes who gathered in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday March 17, 2013.
It usually takes until mid-March for an Ironman season to get underway in earnest and this year is no exception with Ironman 70.3 San Juan and the inaugural Ironman Los Cabos taking place on the same day.
Many of the world's top triathletes have had sufficient time to overcome injuries from a hectic, demanding 2012 season and are ready to vie for valuable Kona Ranking Points once again and have come to historic Old San Juan in force.
Timothy O' Donnell of the USA has won the past two races but was up against the likes of Faris Al-Sultan who has an Ironman World Championship in his many past accomplishments.
Going into the race it appeared that Andrew Starykowicz might well have been one of the strongest cyclist in the field.
Max Kriat, Dirk Bockel, Paul Mathews, and Bert Jammaer are just a few of the other pro men in this very talented group who went into the race with a good chance at a podium spot.
For the pro women another two-time San Juan champion was under siege. Kelly Williamson would have to get past the likes of Leanda Cave and Mirinda Carfrae.
Cave is an Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Champion.
As the race unfolded the pro men came out of the water in a very tight group of ten in the front.
It was a bit of a surprise to say the least when Ben Collins of the USA had the lead heading onto the run course.
His nearest rival was Andrew Starykowicz who was over 90 seconds back. The rest of the field had lots of work to do to catch up.
However, it was Starykowicz of the USA who took over the lead out on the run course and took the victory in Ironman 70.3 San Juan 2013 with a time of 03:50:12.
Bertrand Billard of France was second in 03:51:02, and Timothy O'Donnell of the USA rounded out the top three with a time of 03:51:19.
Helle Fredricksen of Denmark was the first female pro out of the water with a lead of just 44 seconds over Leanda Cave.
Fredricksen held onto the lead heading into the final transition, but Svenja Bazlen of Germany was in close pursuit as the two female pros began the 21km run.
At this point, many of the top favorites were virtually out of the race as they were too far back.
One of the heavy pre-race favorites, Mirinda Carfrae, was far back on the bike and may have run into mechanical problems.
There was a total of $50,000 prize money up for grabs as well as 750 Pro Ranking Points. Any pro who can gather enough points by the end of the season will earn the right to compete in the Ironman70.3 and Ironman World Championships in the Fall of 2013.
The race is still in progress and for a look at how the pro women fared and the final results of all the top pros visit IronStruck.com.