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IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2024 men’s results: Limitless Lionel Sanders takes incredible win

Lionel Sanders took down an incredible field at IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside to win his third title in SoCal.

Staff Reporter
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Canadian triathlon star Lionel Sanders picked up his third career IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside title with a brilliant performance across the board to take his first win of the season.

The two-time IRONMAN World Championship runner-up, who has struggled with highs and lows over the past few years, produced a winning bike-run to beat occasional training partner Sam Long in second.

Rounding out the podium, former champion Jackson Laundry made sure it was a North Americans sweep of the podium, with Canada going 1-3 in Southern California.

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Swim – Manner makes a mark

In a field filled with swim talent, most people had their money on an athlete like Mark “The Shark” Dubrick to lead out of the water in Oceanside, but instead it was relatively unknown German pro Magnus Manner who exited first.

Stringing out the front group, Manner led Dubrick, Canadian Olympian Matthew Sharpe and Italian Mattia Ceccarelli out of the water by a couple of seconds, with the next group half a minute down.

In the second pack, there was plenty of firepower for the bike leg ahead, with German Florian Angert and American Dylan Gillespie just ahead of a group of eight which included pre-race favourite Jelle Geens and two-time Kona champion Patrick Lange.

Further back, a number of other contenders were still in the mix, with Braden Currie down +1:05, and Lionel Sanders out in 25th at +1:38. Miami T100 runner-up Sam Long was +2:38 down, with British fan favourite Joe Skipper looking at a deficit of +3:40 out of the water.

Bike – Long leads the way

Over the opening section up to Camp Pendleton, Geens was the first to make a significant move, making his way up through the field in transition and entering the lead by the time the front group had covered the first 20km of the bike.

Further back, Long and Sanders were two more athletes gaining time to the front, as the Tucson based pair started to make their mark on the race. By the halfway mark, the pair, along with Jackson Laundry and Currie, had made their way to the front.

Sam Long St George photo credit Tom Pennington Getty Images for IRONMAN
[Photo credit Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN]

After bridging the gap, Long started to quickly ramp up the tempo, with the American working hard alongside Sanders, Laundry, Justin Riele and Maximillian Sperl to breakaway with less than 20km to go.

Coming into transition, the front group of five had managed to remain intact, whilst obliterating the field behind them. Geens, the next best placed athlete in sixth, was +2:34 down, with Dubrick and Gillespie another 90 seconds back from the Belgian.

Run – Sanders shows he still means business

Unless Geens produced a monster run split, it seemed the men’s winner would come from this front group, with Long, Laundry and Sanders trading blows over the opening kilometres.

Dropping Riele, then Sperl, then Laundry, Long and Sanders pulled ahead after 5km, before the Canadian made an early move for the win, opening up a ten second gap, which gradually doubled by the halfway point.

Keeping his foot on the gas, Mr “No Limits” looked unstoppable over the middle section of the run course, and with less than five kilometres to go had a lead of over a minute back to Long, who had thirty seconds over Laundry back in third.

Pushing like only he knows how, Sanders never relented despite the gap, as his lead continued to grow and grow. Taking the tape in an emotional finish, Sanders put Long and Laundry to the sword with a 1:10:40 run split.

lionel sanders wins oceanside 2024 [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]
Lionel Sanders takes the victory [Photo credit: Donald Miralle / IRONMAN]

IRONMAN 70.3 Oceanside 2024 Results

Pro Men

Saturday April 6, 2024 – 1.9km / 90km / 21.1km

  • 1. Lionel Sanders (CAN) – 3:46:24
  • 2. Sam Long (USA) – 3:47:35
  • 3. Jackson Laundry (CAN) – 3:48:22
  • 4. Jelle Geens (BEL) – 3:50:01
  • 5. Maximillian Sperl (GER) – 3:50:38
  • 6. Braden Currie (NZL) – 3:53:37
  • 7. Marc Dubrick (USA) – 3:55:25
  • 8. Justin Riele (USA) – 3:55:43
  • 9. Chris Leiferman (USA) – 3:57:41
  • 10. Joe Skipper (GBR) – 3:57:53

Editor’s Note – Braden Currie, who originally finished in sixth, was later disqualified for excessive speed in a controlled section. Upon appeal, he was reinstated.

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Written by
Tomos Land
Tomos Land is a triathlon & running journalist whose expertise lies in the professional world of short course & long distance triathlon, though he also boasts an extensive knowledge of ultra-running.

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