Sam Long reveals very special Snow Canyon link to ‘Big Unit’ baby

Staff Reporter

Whilst American middle-distance star Sam Long addressed a number of important issues in his most recent YouTube video, such as his IRONMAN 70.3 St George win and coaching changes, he also shared the heartfelt reason for his affinity to Snow Canyon in Utah.

Snow Canyon and Snow Canyon State Park have been an integral part of the bike course at triathlon events in St George over the past few years, most notably at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, but for Long the spot also has another significance.

Along with partner Lara Gruden, the “Big Unit” will be welcoming his first child this year, with Snow Canyon having played an integral part in making that happen.

Silver linings

Having gone into the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in St George as one of the favourites, Long had his race controversially upended by a penalty on the bike course.

YouTube video

However, despite redemption on the course where things went so wrong six months ago being on his mind in St George, the American added there was another incentive to go full gas out on the bike course.

“Without getting into the details of last October at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships, where I had my penalty, there’s a whole other story to this.

“Shortly thereafter, my girlfriend got pregnant and when you get pregnant they tell you the conception date of the baby.

“For us, the conception date was the night before 70.3 Worlds in October and at that time we happened to be staying at the base of Snow Canyon.” 

“My baby was quite literally conceived at Snow Canyon and going into the race I literally said I am riding Snow Canyon for my baby boy.

Sam Long relaxed
Sam Long (Photo Credit: Aquasphere)

2023 win had added meaning

For Long, his win at the IRONMAN 70.3 North American Championships in St George was symbolic for a lot of reasons, following his penalty at worlds and a rough start to 2023, but most importantly because it marked the place where his family grew from two to three!

Written by
Tomos Land
Latest News
Laura Philipp IRONMAN 703 Kraichgau 2023 [Photo credit: IRONMAN Germany]
Laura Philipp back to full training ahead of massive showdown at Challenge Roth
IRONMAN Hamburg bike course 2023 photo credit Getty Images for IRONMAN
Andrew Messick says IRONMAN believed its Hamburg moto plan was safe
Joe Skipper on IRONMAN Hamburg tragedy: “Something like this was going to happen sooner or later”
IRONMAN Hamburg bike course out and back
IRONMAN Hamburg tragedy – Andrew Messick says racing on was the right call
Rudy von Berg, Matthew Marquardt and Rob Wilkowiecki at IRONMAN Texas
IRONMAN champion Rudy von Berg out of action following collision on world champs course