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IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast 2023 results: Double delight for Sam Long

Sam Long backed up last week's St George success with an even more emphatic triumph at IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast.

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Sam Long made it two wins in the space of a week as he followed up his 70.3 St George success with victory at Panama City Beach IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast.

The ‘Big Unit’, who revealed earlier in the week he was coaching himself after parting company with Dr Dan Plews, put together another well-executed race.

In trademark fashion he powered into the lead on the bike and showed few signs of tiredness on the run as he claimed another clear-cut win.

Great rival Lionel Sanders took second just under four minutes back, with Jackson Laundry in third at +6:23.

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Swim – Quenet makes his mark

The 1-2-3-4 from St George – Long, Trevor Foley, Laundry and Sanders, were all back in action and they were joined by recent 70.3 Peru winner Tim O’Donnell.

But the big names were upstaged early on by relative unknown Nicholas Quenet (RSA).

After a choppy swim he was out of the water first, 17 seconds ahead of Braxton Bokos (USA) – with much bigger gaps back to the rest.

O’Donnell was at +1:08, Laundry was nearly three minutes adrift while it was closer to four minutes to Long and Sanders, with Foley at +4:48.

Bike – Long paces it perfectly

On the bike anyone expecting Quenet to see his advantage quickly erased were in for a shock.

The big guns – with the exception of an isolated Foley – were lining up behind, with Long, Sanders, Laundry and O’Donnell all at +1:45 after 50km.

That continued to come down but it wasn’t until the closing stages that Long moved to the front and coming out of T2 he had a 22 seconds lead from Quenet, with the other trio around a minute-and-a-half back.

Foley was enduring a tough day and having ridden mostly by himself he had over three minutes to make up.

Run – ‘Yo Yo Yo’ out on his own

Early on the run things were still looking good for Quenet – at least in terms of the podium – but his day would end in unfortunate fashion.

Struggling after his exertions in the heat he was apparently disqualified after going off course and was removed from the rankings late on.

But moving serenely on at the front of the race was Long and he never looked under any sort of threat as he stopped the clock in 3:36:00.

Sam Long wins IRONMAN 703 Gulf Coast 2023 [Photo credit: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images for IRONMAN]
[Photo credit: Julio Aguilar / Getty Images for IRONMAN]

IRONMAN 70.3 Gulf Coast Results 2023

Saturday 13 May 2023 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km
Panama City Beach, Florida (Pro Men only race)

  • 1. Sam Long (USA) – 3:36:00
  • 2. Lionel Sanders (CAN) – 3:39:56
  • 3. Jackson Laundry (CAN) – 3:42:24
  • 4. Tim O’Donnell (USA) – 3:45:07
  • 5. Trevor Foley (USA) – 3:46:06
  • 6. Jan Stepinski (USA) – 3:46:19
  • 7. Miguel Mattox (USA) – 3:46:27
  • 8. Luis Ortiz (USA) – 3:48:07
  • 9. Nicholas Chase (USA) – 3:49:17
  • 10. Hunter Lussi (USA) – 3:59:00
Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.  
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